Recipe by GertieMcFlirty
This recipe came about after 6 years of making my family suffer through a thin, watery, homemade Weight Watcher's spaghetti meat sauce; hence, the words "cheater" and "thick" in the recipe title. Maybe my husband and son just don't have much to compare it against, but they really enjoyed this sauce. It made me actually enjoy the whole wheat pasta that I usually just endure! This recipe appears to be high in fat, but you will drain off the oil after browning the ground beef, if that's any consolation. I didn't add salt because there's usually enough sodium in the bottled sauce to preserve a small side of beef.
- 4 tablespoons canola oil
- 3 tablespoons dried onion flakes
- 2 1⁄2 lbs ground beef
- 1⁄3 cup frozen chopped bell pepper
- 2 (25 ounce) jars spaghetti sauce
- 2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
- 12 ounces water (I just fill each of the empty tomato paste cans with hot water)
Directions See How It's Made
- Heat oil in large, deep pot until hot but not smoking.
- Lower heat to medium-low and add dried onion. Fry onion, stirring occasionally, until it softens and turns a light brown color, about 4-5 minutes. Watch it carefully, and monitor the heat. If the onion is jumping excitedly, your pan is too hot. You want the onion to lie on the bottom of the pan and twitch nervously.
- Add ground beef and brown it until there's no more pink. Don't stir the beef too much as it browns. You can get big chunky pieces of meat if you let it brown on one side, then flip it over and break it up just a little with a wooden spoon.
- Drain ground beef of excess fat. Don't be too thorough about this, because you need about a teaspoon of fat in which to fry the bell pepper.
- Over medium-low heat, fry the bell pepper for about a minute in the teaspoon of fat that you left in the pot.
- Add ground beef back to the pot.
- Dump in both jars of spaghetti sauce, both cans of tomato paste, and the water. Mix thoroughly.
- Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes. Serve over pasta.