Spaghetti is one of my all-time favorite meals. For years I made it the old-fashioned way and cooked the sauce and pasta separately. One time when I was visiting my dad, my stepmother made spaghetti for dinner, but she cooked everything in one pot! I am all about convenience, and now that is the only way I make it.
I find in summer that cooking this way is especially good, because the kitchen does not get so hot from the boiling pot of pasta. Besides adding about 1 to 1-1/2 cups of water to the sauce, I cook the spaghetti sauce as I normally would.
Towards the end when the sauce is bubbling, I add the pasta, lower the heat to medium-low, and put a lid on for about 10-15 minutes (depending on how cooked I want the noodles).
This method has worked really well, and it makes the whole process so much simpler. I do like the idea of a homemade sauce the best, but, over the past year or so, I have not been too motivated and I have gone with some store-bought organic sauces. My favorite is the organic basil sauce from Aldi’s.
When I do make a homemade sauce, I like to put everything in my Vitamix and blend it to my desired consistency. My husband likes a chunky sauce. I like to use tomatoes that are the size of a quarter or smaller, because I can just throw those into the Vitamix without even cutting them up.
Here is a basic recipe that I follow, but I find that I am always tasting and adding stuff along the way. Sometimes it's a home-run, and other times it's a struggle to get it to taste just right. It is always an adventure.
Basic Spaghetti Sauce
I rarely measure anything and just eyeball everything.
• About 2 pounds of tomatoes
• 1 carrot
• 1 onion
• A few garlic cloves
• Pink salt
• Onion powder
• Garlic powder
• A little sugar (sometimes if I find the sauce too tart)
• 1 to 1-1/2 cups of water added after everything is mixed.
Note: I always add a lot of garlic and onion to my food, so even if I add fresh garlic and onion, I will often still add powder to give it a little more of a kick.
I find it easier to mix everything in a Vitamix or high-powered blender. I can decide on a chunkier or smoother sauce. I aim for cooking everything for about 30 minutes on medium heat. Along the way, I taste and add things as I find necessary. Sometimes this calls for a longer cooking time.
As I mentioned before, I add the pasta towards the end once I am satisfied with the sauce. I cook it on a four (or medium-low) heat with the lid on for about 10-15 minutes. If I use store sauce, I cook it on about a seven until the sauce bubbles, then I lower the heat and add the pasta.
I like to use high-protein pasta such as lentil or bean pasta. It is a way to get more protein but use less meat. When we use regular pasta, we usually add ground beef. I love the one-pot method of cooking one of my favorite meals!