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Meal of the Day | Spaghetti

My secret ingredient to tomato based red sauce is cayenne pepper. Add a pinch or more depending on your taste buds and those you're serving. I'm not a fan of hot and spicy foods, but I love red cayenne pepper in any red sauce for the depth of flavor. Combine it with brown sugar as in this recipe for a sweet and spicy balance that creates a savory effect. You'll love it!



o    1 lb Italian sausage, (I use mild, but you can with hot if you prefer)

o    1 lb 90% lean ground beef (you can go with 80% up to 93%, whichever you prefer, I like the balance of 90% offering a leaner ground beef, yet still offering depth of flavor in the meat)

o    1 large onion, diced

o    3 -4 garlic cloves, minced

o    1 (28 ounce) cans diced tomatoes (add more or less depending on how thick you like your sauce and if you're stove top simmering or slow cooking)

o    2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste

o    2 (15 ounce) cans tomato sauce

o    2 cups water (for a long period of simmering for flavors to meld if you're cooking on the stove top or leave this out if you're making in the slow cooker)

o    3 teaspoons basil, I prefer sweet basil

o    2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes

o    1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar

o    1 teaspoon salt

o    1/4-1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

o    1/4 teaspoon fresh coarse ground black pepper

o    1/4 cup red wine ( a good Cabernet is a great option, or you can leave this out)

o    1 lb spaghetti or I prefer linguine pasta

o    parmesan cheese


  1. In large, heavy stockpot, brown Italian sausage, breaking up as you stir. Drain in a colander and rinse if you want to make a leaner recipe. (I drain, but do not rinse)
  2. Repeat for the ground beef.(I drain and rinse the beef, it's not as flavorful as the sausage which I don't rinse)
  3. Add onions and continue to cook, stirring occasionally until onions are softened.
  4. Add garlic, tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce and water.
  5. Add basil, parsley, brown sugar, salt, crushed red pepper, and black pepper.
  6. Stir well and barely bring to a boil or transfer to a slow cooker.
  7. Stir in red wine.
  8. Simmer on low, stirring frequently for at least an hour. A longer simmer makes for a better sauce, just be careful not to let it burn!
  9. Cook spaghetti according to package directions.
  10. Spoon sauce over drained spaghetti noodles and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

Best part is, any red sauce based dish will only develop more flavor as it sits in the fridge so you can store this in tupperware and it will keep for up to a week and taste better each day! :)

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