Who doesn’t love spaghetti? I LOVE spaghetti, especially leftover spaghetti- it ALWAYS tastes even better the next day, after all those flavors have had time to marinate together overnight. YUM! It’s always hard for me to fathom the thought that there are people out there who do not know how to make spaghetti- it’s one of the easiest & simplest dishes out there! But I have had some BAD spaghetti before. So today I’m going to share a semi-homemade version I came up with the other day, when I knew that the jar of sauce I had wouldn’t be enough for my meat sauce, but I had some great ingredients on hand to stretch that jar into enough for my hungry boys & I to enjoy the wonderful deliciousness that is leftover spaghetti the next day.
I knew I had everything I needed on hand- these are just ingredients I tend to keep, because they can be used in many dishes, but since the jar of Emeril’s Roasted Gaaaahlic I had grabbed on sale wouldn’t be enough, I took a look in my pantry & found a can of tomato sauce, a can of cream of mushroom with roasted garlic soup, & decided that those, combined with a few of the Campari tomatoes I had on hand oughta mix well with my jar of sauce. I also had bought some Veggie Noodle Co. Zucchini Noodles, cause my favorite cash back app was offering cash back on those, & I couldn’t wait to try them, so I got those out along with all of my other ingredients.
First, get your pasta pot started- I fill a large pot with water, drizzle about 1tbsp olive oil (to keep pasta from sticking together) in it, & add some salt. Heat that to a rolling boil. Next, place about five Campari tomatoes (you could use any small tomato, Roma are my fave, these happened to be on sale) in a small pot, cover with water, & place over high heat to boil. Don’t worry about the skins- they will come off as the tomatoes boil.
While waiting for the water to get to a good boil, warm the other 1tbsp of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Mince garlic & dice about 1cup of onion, add to the olive oil & sautee. Dice a green bell pepper & add to the garlic & onion, which should just be starting to become translucent.
Sautee the veggie mixture about three more minutes, then add 1lb ground beef or turkey. My local Kroger usually has ground turkey for a lower cost than beef, & it’s healthier & leaner. If using turkey, I like to give it a good dousing of Worcestershire & season it with Weber steak & chop seasoning for a beefier flavor. During this time, your pasta water should be getting to a good rolling boil, so you’ll be adding your pasta to the water as well. The package pictured was for eight servings, I used about 3/4 of that. Return to a boil, reduce heat to medium, & set a timer for seven minutes.
Break up the turkey or beef, then add your Italian sausage. Break this up & combine the meats & veggies well. Season generously with salt, pepper, & Italian seasoning, keep cooking until brown, stirring occasionally. At this point, the skins are popping off the tomatoes, drain, discard the skins, & return to the pot. When the timer goes off, drain the pasta & rinse with cold water to stop the cooking.
While the meat continues to brown, use a potato masher to crush up the tomatoes over medium heat, then add the cream of mushroom & roasted garlic soup & mix well. Whisk in the can of tomato sauce, season generously with salt, pepper, & Italian seasoning, mix well & bring to a simmer.
When the meat is fully browned, drain, then return to skillet & add your jar of spaghetti sauce. Mix well & bring to a simmer, then slowly combine the cream of mushroom & tomato sauce mixture into the skillet.
This only needs to simmer for a few minutes, so while I let that simmer I got my zoodles out for my serving of spaghetti. I knew none of my boys would be interested in eating green noodles, so I only needed a small portion. I warmed some Extra Virgin olive oil in my schmedium (you know, not my smallest, but not quite medium) skillet, added my zoodles & sautéed them for about five minutes.
Remove the zoodles to a plate, & top with desired amount of meat sauce, & parmesan cheese if you like. Then, you can either mix the spaghetti & meat sauce in the pot, or serve the sauce over your noodles, my boys like it all mixed together, & it makes storing the leftovers a little easier.
Enjoy! As always, keep scrolling for the recipe in a more printer-friendly format. 🙂
Semi-Homemade Spaghetti & Meat Sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced
1cup diced onion
1 green bell pepper, diced
5 Campari tomatoes
1cup zucchini noodles
1lb ground turkey or beef
1lb mild Italian sausage
Thin spaghetti noodles
1 can cream of mushroom with roasted garlic soup
1 14oz can tomatao sauce
1 24oz jar spaghetti sauce- whatever flavor you like
2tbs olive oil
1tbs extra virgin olive oil
Weber steak & chop seasoning
Peppercorn medley grinder
- Cook pasta al dente, according to package instructions
- Boil tomatoes until skins pop off, drain
- While pasta & tomatoes are boiling, warm 1tbsp olive oil in large skillet, add garlic & onion. Sautee about 3 min, then add bell pepper & sautee about 3 more min
- Add beef or turkey- if using turkey, season with Worcestershire sauce & Weber seasoning to taste, break meat up & add Italian sausage, break up, season generously with salt, pepper, & Italian seasoning & mix well, brown fully, stirring occassionally
- Over medium heat, crush tomatoes, add cream of mushroom & garlic soup, mix well & whisk in tomato sauce; season generously with salt, pepper, & Italian seasoning & whisk again, bring to a simmer
- When meat is fully browned, drain, return to skillet & stir in the jar of spaghetti sauce, bring to a simmer, then combine the cream of mushroom & tomato sauce mixture into the skillet & simmer about 5 more minutes, then serve over your pasta or mix it all together & top with parmesan cheese, whatever you like!
For the Zucchini Noodles (this is for one serving)
- Warm 1tbsp extra virgin olive oil in small – medium skillet
- Add about 1 cup of zoodles, sautee about 5 min, remove to plate
- Top with desired amount of meat sauce, & parmesan cheese if you like