30-Minute Weeknight Pasta Sauce

I’ve thrown more white sweaters in the bin than I can count, thanks to pasta sauce. Sitting on a stockpile of a dozen aprons, you’d think I’d have the sense to suit up before getting cookin’, but it never occurs to me! One by one, my soft and cozy sweaters all end up splattered with sauce and tossed aside. I guess that’s why I feel the need to treat myself to a few new ones every fall!

Oops?

Thing is, this doesn’t happen anymore. Ya see, I used to let my sauces simmer for hours so that they’d achieve just the right chunky, tender pasta-coating consistency. I thought that’s what it took. What was I gonna do, strap on an apron every time I went to stir the sauce?! Pssh. Sweater protection is for the birds!

Lately, I’ve been throwing together this quick and easy 30-minute pasta sauce. Minimal effort, minimal time, and minimal stirring/splattering. I keep my little apron on for half an hour while I boil the pasta and make a salad, no big deal, bada-boom. Dinner is done!

Now, let’s get to the pasta. Of course, use what you like… With a thick and chunky sauce, I love a good rotini and fettuccine. But, do you know about pappardelle? Ohhh, wait ‘til you discover this stuff!

As part of H-E-B’s Primo Picks program, I was lucky enough to receive the mother of all yummy Italian gift baskets recently! We’re talkin’ truffle salt, imported pasta sauces, gourmet olive oils and this incredible pappardelle. Thick, soft ribbons of pasta just begging to be swirled around a luscious, meaty pasta sauce and sloshed down with a glass of red wine!

THIS is what I immediately envisioned after I opened up the box of goodies. I could hardly wait to twirl my fork around the simple, scrumptious combination of pappardelle and my favorite weeknight sauce!

So, here I share with you something new (my latest pasta love) and something not-so-new, my absolute favorite, go-to recipe for the perfect pasta sauce. Born out of years spent trying it 101 different ways with different combinations of ingredients, piles of dirty dishes, and full bellies, now it’s my turn to share it with you.

Served with a light salad and a sprinkling of fluffy grated Parmesan, this pasta makes for an easy, affordable and scrumptious weeknight meal! Even if you have your tried-and-true methods, give this one a go and I guarantee you’ll agree. It’s pretty much the best comfort food in the world.

Just don’t forget your apron!

PrintPrint Recipe

30-Minute Weeknight Pasta Sauce

Yield: Makes about 4 cups / 4 servings with cooked pasta

Ingredients:

1 teaspoon olive oil

16 oz. (1 lb.) lean ground beef

1 small or 1/2 large yellow onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup red wine, optional

1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes

1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes, drained

2 Tablespoons tomato paste

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper

1 teaspoon granulated sugar or sugar substitute

1/2 lb. cooked pasta (I used pappardelle)

Directions:

Heat olive oil in a medium skillet or pot set to medium-high heat. Add ground beef and cook for 5 minutes, crumbling with a wooden spoon as it cooks. Drain excess fat and discard. Return pot to heat and add onion and garlic, cooking until soft, 4-5 minutes. Pour in a splash of red wine, if desired; simmer an additional minute.

Add crushed and diced tomatoes, tomato paste, basil, oregano, salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in sugar to cut acidity. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Serve over hot cooked pasta or as desired. To store sauce (without pasta), refrigerate in a re-sealable container up to 4 days or freeze for up to 6 months.

Enjoy!

Disclosure: This recipe was created for H-E-B as part of their Primo Picks program. I was compensated for my time, but all opinions are my own.