Wednesday 30 December 2009

Feels like home to me

The post-Christmas weather has been rainy and gray and totally miserable here in Chelmsford...which has made my recovery from overeating and the cold of the decade difficult.  Yesterday I was breathing clearer and feeling up to actually getting out of the house (plus the cupboards and fridge was literally BARE) and so off to the shops I went!

I've promised myself (and David) that I will be better with the grocery budget now that Christmas is over. And so...with that in  mind, and feeling like I needed a little something to take the chill of the rain away and make the home feel homely I bought a gigantic pack of ground beef to make my mum's spaghetti save be a good make my belly and cold happy...all those things. 

My mum's spaghetti sauce recipe is a family recipe that my Nonna was taught in Italy...all Italian families have their own version...and all families think that their's is the best....well MINE IS! ha ha

The ground beef is braised with onion, garlic, carrots and spices, until tender, then tomato paste is added and boiled off, and finally jarred sauce is added (like I have the time, desire, or skill to jar my own tomato sauce) and voila.....yum yum yum.  I am sure that initially the recipe called for traditional and good home canned tomato sauce, but time and convenience....and the proper spice ratio has lead to the use of ready made sauce in this recipe. 

I made a HUGE pot using just 750g of ground beef and one 750 ml jar of tomato sauce.  The whole house smelt of braised beef goodness and totally returned me to my mum's kitchen.  It is so wonderful to be able to make these family favourites in my new house...

I used about a third of the sauce to make a gorgeous, tasty and hit-the-spot lasagna for last night's dinner, and then put the remaning 2/3rds in containers for the freezer...enough for two big pasta dinners!!! 

When my mum makes lasagna with this sauce she layers the pasta with her homemade meat sauce and shredded mozzarella cheese.  It is difficult to find hard mozzarella here in Chelmsford and the buffalo style mozzarella has too high a water content to be used as a I opted to make a simple bechemel sauce in replacement of the mozzarella cheese.  I admit to using store bought noodles (I am holding out for an attachment to my kitchen aid) but I can take credit for all the rest!

Once again, the beautiful and gorgeously green Emile Henry dish came in handy...with just enough left over for dinner tonight!!

4 meals!! How budget friendly is that??


  1. Great posting. I love spaghetti big time.

  2. I am sure your Spaghetti sauce must be so good,Love the looks of that lasagna. looks like home made pasta.

  3. That looks so delicious! I love your recipes here. You know what,Foodista announced that they are going to publish the best food blogs in a full color book that will be published by Andrews McMeel Publishing this Fall 2010. It would be so great to see your blog and recipe featured in this book. You can find out more about it here Hope you wont mind if I left this message here. I wanted to email you but couldn't find one, so I dropped this message instead. Hope you do join. Happy New Year!

  4. Moogie- i'd eat spaghetti everyday if it was possible!

    Sage- Rita...thank you always! if you'd like the recipe I can email you! AND i wish it was homemade pasta....waiting for a pasta attachment to my stand mixer (only 2 months till the fresh pasta making days will start soon!)

    Alisa- thanks for stopping by and your encouragement!