October 25, 2010

Beef & Mushrooms Spaghetti


Happy World Pasta Day! 

I have cooked this pasta dish countless times but each time I do it, I get so much joy.  It's got to do with it being one of my husband's all time favourites.  What's a better flavour enhancer than happiness and love?  We love mushrooms in our pasta, the thicker and the more, the merrier.  Most recipes will tell you about the usual ingredients such as tomatoes, minced meat and all. But truly, I have found a little secret for the perfect sauce (besides love and happiness).  Because you, my dear readers mean a lot to me, I will share that secret with you.  

Mushrooms bring a wonderful flavour to dishes

It's sugar.  When there's so much acid oozing from the wonderful tomatoes, the perfect balance for it is none other than good 'ol sugar.  It brings a magical twist to the otherwise sour sauce.  The sensational burst of flavour combined with the aromatic herbs will have everyone at home ditching their favourite Italian restaurants for your very own Spag magic!  Grab your fork and spoon and start twirling your pasta.  Delizioso!

Meat and mushrooms in harmony in my pot

(Serves 4-5 people)

1 tablespoon olive oil
750g ground beef
1 large brown onion, diced
2 garlic, chopped
2 tbs tomato sauce
1 cup carrot, grated
400g fresh tomatoes, diced OR 1 tin (400g) whole tomatoes, drained
150g swiss mushrooms, sliced
3-4 sprigs fresh thyme (or 1 tsp dried thyme)
2 bay leaves
4 tbs sugar
2 tbs butter
Salt & pepper
Parmesan cheese for garnishing


1. In a medium pot, sauté ground meat in olive oil, salt & pepper until brown and the meat juice evaporates.

2. Add mushrooms and onion, sauté for 1-2 minutes.  Stir in garlic and tomato sauce.

3. When meat is coated with the tomato sauce and looks reddish, add carrot and diced tomatoes.  Stir all ingredients to thoroughly combine them. 

4. Add thyme, bay leaves and butter.  Stir lightly.

5. Place lid on pan, bring ingredients to a boil, turn heat down to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

6. Add sugar, salt & pepper to taste.  Turn heat off, leave sauce to rest for about 10 minutes.

7. Cook spaghetti according to packet instructions.  Drain the spaghetti and serve meat sauce over the pasta.  Garnish with grated parmesan cheese.

- Do a taste test and add or subtract seasoning (salt, pepper, sugar) to your liking.  Hint: Kids love a sweeter pasta sauce!

Fearlessly Simple & Home Cooked

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