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This past Friday Taz and I decided to stay in, watch a movie, and cook dinner. The movie never happened (it was replaced by multiple episodes of Modern Family via Hulu), but the above dinner did. Below is the recipe for our 'Double Trouble' meat sauce (I'm coining this name on the basis of the sauce consisting of both ground beef and Italian sausage), which we served with a quick string bean side-dish.
Double Trouble Meat Sauce
1/2 head of Garlic (minced)
1/2 med. White Onion (diced)
1 1/2 lbs. Ground Beef
6 Sweet Italian Sausage Links (cut in 1/4 pieces)
1 28oz can Tomato Sauce
1 28oz can Crushed Tomatoes
1 6oz can Tomato Paste
Crushed Red Pepper
Ground Black Pepper
1. Mince the garlic and dice the onion. Heat a large sauté pan and and coat with olive oil. Sauté garlic and onion a couple of minutes on low-medium heat. Add the ground beef to the pan and mix all together. Cook on medium-high heat until beef is completely browned. Remove from heat, drain meat in a colander to remove juices and return to pan.
2. Brown sausage in another large pan. Pierce a few holes in the sausage links to release air before cooking. We cooked the whole sausages first 3-5 minutes so they were easier to cut. We removed carefully from pan, cut into 1/4 pieces on cutting board and returned all to pan to thoroughly cook for about another 10 minutes.
*Suggestion: If you want to skip a step (and a pan) you can also chop up the raw sausage in small pieces and mix in with the raw ground beef, cooking both meats with the onion and garlic. I had wanted my sausage in big pieces so we cooked it separately.
3. Add your ground beef and sausage to a LARGE saucepan heated on low-medium heat (this recipe makes a good amount so make sure the pan is big enough for the meat and the tomato sauces). Add the Crushed Tomatoes, Tomato Sauce, and Tomato Paste. Stir continuously while adding the seasonings: Everyday/Italian Seasoning, Oregano, Basil, Crushed Red Pepper (*optional if you like it a little spicy), Sea Salt, and Ground Black Pepper.
4. Cover pan and allow your sauce to simmer on low-heat for at least 45mins (up to 2 hours), stirring occasionally. The longer you cook your sauce, the more the flavors will soak in!
It was a Friday night and we were hungry, so we simmered the sauce for barely 45mins, while we boiled water and made some Farfalle pasta (bow-ties). (This is the only way I will eat white pasta, because bow-ties were my favorite type of pasta as a child. You have to admit, it is the cutest looking pasta!) We made 3/4 of a pound of pasta, poured on the sauce heavily and topped with freshly shredded Romano cheese. Served with *Garlic String Beans on the side.
NOTE: You can freeze the rest of your Double Trouble Meat Sauce. I poured mine in a gallon-size freezer bag to save for a later date. This recipe makes enough sauce for 6-8 servings of pasta.
* for the Garlic String Beans:
Very simply this is string beans, minced garlic, olive oil, and salt & pepper. We used about 1 lb of string beans and 4-5 cloves of minced garlic.
1. Cut the ends off your string beans and wash thoroughly. Heat olive oil in a wok, add garlic and sauté a minute or less.
2. Add the string beans, toss with the olive oil and garlic. Add more olive oil if necessary plus the salt & pepper.
We cooked these in the wok for about 5 minutes, which results in very crunchy string beans (just the way Taz likes them!). For less crunch, cook longer, or boil the string beans in a little water first before stir-frying.