My Mom’s Sketti Sauce

My mother’s spaghetti was my favorite home-cooked meal when I was a child. It’s uncomplicated and satisfying in a 1970s Americans-making-Italian kind of way. I made it for the first time in years today and whaddaya know, my (19mo) son gave it two red and greasy thumbs up. (Spouse: “You’re giving him spaghetti? That sounds messy…” Me: “Well, we don’t like the shirt he has on anyway, so what the hell?”)

There’s this whole food nerd trend lately away from using dried herbs and spices, but I think granulated garlic and dried oregano help make the sauce taste right. I use spices and herbs from http://www.penzeys.com. Their granulated garlic smells toasty and gently garlic-y and not at all bitter like some supermarket versions. Go ahead, thumb your nose at the culinary cognoscenti as you shake in those evil dried powders and leaves. This ain’t fine dining.

You, too, can get your face and hands into this completely inauthentic delicacy, even if your supermarket options are limited. Recipe below the cut.

1 lb ground beef

1 medium onion, diced

Salt and pepper

1 tsp dried oregano

2 tsp granulated garlic

2 small cans tomato sauce

1 small can tomato paste

Put the beef and the onions in a medium-sized pot and set over medium heat. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring often and breaking up the meat, until the beef is cooked through. Drain off any excess fat. Stir in the oregano and garlic, then add the sauce and paste. Simmer over low heat for a half-hour or so, stirring periodically. Serve over sketti.

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