Comfort Food, pt 1

I find that the things that go the furthest are also the sauciest. When I know I have to make food in bulk to last through a poor spell, blind ambition, etc I always go for either sloppy joes or tomato sauce. My tomato sauce recipe has been through ongoing adjustments, but here’s what I have to the best of my recall:

I’m not brand loyal, if it’s on sale I’ll buy it, but I am growing to love Red Gold – just make sure whatever brands you buy are not pre-seasoned.

Penny’s Tomato Meat Sauce

1 16 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
1/2 small can tomato paste (though get the tube if you can find it – it keeps much better)
add 1/2 cup water or red wine if you prefer a thinner sauce

1 lb ground beef, browned with grease drained

1T Salt
1/2t Pepper (freshly ground, ideally)
1T Italian seasonings, dried
1t dried onion flakes
5-8 garlic cloves, minced
Basil, fresh, 4-8 leaves whole or chopped to your preference
Oregano, fresh, 6 leaves chopped or bruised
1t sugar if you prefer a sweeter sauce

After draining grease from the meat, add crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce & paste
Then add garlic and allow to warm about 5 minutes
Add all herbs and seasonings except for fresh basil and oregano
Stir and bring to a simmer for 15 minutes, covered
Add fresh herbs, cover and simmer another 15 minutes

Sauce freezes nicely, though if you prefer a thinner sauce you may want to reheat it with some water or red wine as it tends to thicken.

I bought some spaghetti at Costco at least a year ago and, if you’ve bought in bulk, it seems to have the effect of Jesus feeding the 5000 in that no matter how much I use I still have a few bags left… it’s quite good too, I have to say. I love fresh pasta when I can find it, but it can be pricey for how much you get. I haven’t tackled making my own yet, though it’s on the To Do list. I think for this sauce, thin pasta works best. Fettuccine, linguine, spaghetti though probably not angel hair. Large tubed pasta would be yummy but I think you’d get the sensation of eating chili more than pasta sauce, because of the chunky factor of the sauce itself.

The Sloppy Joe recipe is very easy, and everyone loves it. It’s my mom’s and it’s seen us through many dinners, picnics, approaching autumns and is usually quite a find when a Tupperware of some appears from the back of the freezer.


Mom’s Sloppy Joe’s

2 1/2 lb ground beef
1 med yellow onion, finely chopped
1 c ketchup
1T vinegar
2T brown sugar (packed)
1/2t dry mustard (I like Coleman’s)
3T Worcestershire sauce
water as needed

Brown meat and onions together, drain grease
Add all other ingredients and blend well

Simmer 2 hours, stir occasionally, adding water to thin as needed

Makes about 15 sandwiches, can be doubled without adjusting measurements


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