My bad head cold has made it difficult for me to try recipes lately, because I have temporarily lost the ability to smell or taste anything! I decided that this was a great opportunity to post a recipe I inherited from my mother and used to make frequently, until I developed my red meat allergy and could no longer eat beef. Up to that point this was my favorite spaghetti sauce. As a child I did not like pastas with tomato-based sauces, except for this recipe. Nowadays I love pasta served just about any way, but my mother's recipe will always be special to me. By the way, I don't know why the sauce is called "heavenly", but it sure tastes that way as far as I am concerned!
Heavenly Spaghetti Sauce
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 medium onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 T. minced fresh parsley
1 large can (28 oz.) whole tomatoes (I use unsalted)
1 large can (12 oz.) tomato paste
2 C. water
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. basil
1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
12 oz. spaghetti, cooked and drained
Brown the beef with the onion in a large skillet (heat a little olive oil in the skillet first if the beef is very lean, but I rarely found this to be necessary). Add the garlic and parsley and cook for one minute. Stir in the remaining ingredients, using the spoon to break up the tomatoes. Simmer, uncovered, for one hour, stirring occasionally. Remove the bay leaf.
About 15 minutes before the sauce is done, boil a large pot of water and cook the spaghetti according to package directions (about 10 minutes). Drain the pasta and stir into the sauce. Serve with garlic bread and a green salad. Serves 8.
Notes: For a vegetarian version, replace the beef with 1 lb. sliced mushrooms. The original recipe calls for 1 tsp. Ac'cent, which is mostly monosodium glutamate (MSG), a flavor enhancer. When I was young we always had a small shaker canister on the kitchen table next to the salt and pepper, but rarely used it. I have always left this ingredient out of the spaghetti sauce recipe (some people have adverse reactions to MSG) and have never missed it.