If you don’t know who Shirley is, she’s my mom. And she’s a very cool mom, mostly because she taught me my love for good food. My mom got this recipe from a Sunset cookbook a looooong time ago, and it’s just as good now as it was then.
This sauce holds a special place in my heart at this time of year because some years ago, around Christmas time, my mom sat me down and told me The Facts Of Life:
Santa does not exist, she explained. It was just her and dad wrapping all those fun presents for me. I was CRUSHED. I will not tell you how old I was, but let’s just say that I had resisted knowing the truth about this for a long time. I cried alligator tears and looked at her with hope in my eyes and sobbed, “Well, at least there’s an Easter Bunny!”
Needless to say, my world was shattered. So was, by the way, the plate of homemade noodles and this yummy sauce that my mom had just handed to me. In my surprise and sadness, I dropped it right on the floor. Looking back, I realize how dramatic I was throughout all this, but my biggest regret was that wasted plate of spaghetti. How often do you get homemade noodles and a rich, chunky sauce on top?
If you are someone who grew up with meat in your pasta, resist the temptation to add ground beef to this. The recipe is great as is, but if you need meat, try meatballs. My hubby and I found some Chicken & Parmesan meatballs at Costco and those are amazing with this sauce. I still just love it without meat, though!
shirley’s favorite spaghetti sauce
3 tbs olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 (28-oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (12-oz) can tomato paste
2 tbsp sugar
4 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 1/2 tsp salt
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup red wine, optional
Parmesan cheese for passing
Cut up your veggies!
In a saucepan over medium heat, cook garlic, onion, and green pepper until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and their liquid and the remaining ingredients.
Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook 20 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Serve over pasta and pass Parmesan cheese at the table.