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Growing up in the little house on the prairie, next to the little church on the prairie, next to the little slough on the prairie, next to the huge crop fields on the prairie that followed the big sky forever one would think that quality food would be abundant. After all the North Dakota prairie is known as the "Bread Basket Of The World". That's what I was taught in the little school house in the little geography class. But in the age of Betty Crocker and the dawn of pre-manufactured, corporate human feed (notice I didn't say food), we were lead to believe that boxes of pre-assembled, high quality, nutrition were just waiting for us on the shelves of the local grocery stores. And all we had to do was open them up, pour out the goodness, re-hydrate, warm and belly up to the trough. My personal favorite was Hamburger Helper. There was stroganoff, scalloped potatoes and the tomato sauce pasta one. Multiple times a week I downed the trough. It was convenient for the Mrs. too because she wouldn't really have to get her apron dirty, it was full proof, and there would be almost no mess to clean up. Ahhhh, the Betty Crocker lifestyle. Fast forward 30 years. Here I am. Not in an apron, I have sworn off the trough, I have plenty of mess to clean up and in no way do I resemble Mrs. Crocker. The Trophy Wife works her fingers to the bone with an unpredictable schedule and Stiletto 1 and 2  dance. A lot. No, really. A lot. So I have three hungry women to feed at a moments notice. I thought, why can't I take the idea of Hamburger Helper with better ingredients and still make it in a quick amount of time. A little organic, a higher quality product, better flavor and some ingenuity. Voila! New Age Hamburger Helper: A Tasty, Quick Meat Sauce. The trough will be full tonight!
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Quick Meat Pasta Sauce

Ingredients
  • 1 1/4 Pounds Low Fat Organic Ground Beef Or Bison
  • 1 Large Can Trader Giotto's Low Fat Toscano Marinara Sauce
  • 1 Small Can Organic Tomato Paste
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Pasta
  • Large Pot Of Water
  • Fresh Parmesan

Preparation
  1. Place a large pot of pasta water on the stove with the power burner on high if you have it.
  2. In a high edged skillet, brown the seasoned ground beef slightly in the olive oil. Do not overcook it.
  3. Add the tomato sauce and paste. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 10-15 minutes.
  4. You can use any type of sturdy pasta for this sauce. Lately I have been using Dreamfields Pasta which is lower in carb content. You can get it at Super Target and other grocery stores.
  5. You can either toss the pasta with the sauce or serve it on top. Add grated fresh parmesan and fresh cracked pepper to taste.

Servings
6 servings.

Nutrition
505 Calories Per Serving Pasta & Sauce.
315 Calories Per Sauce Serving.
190 Calories Per Dreamfields Spaghetti Pasta Serving.

Notes
I typically grind my own beef. I use a combination of boneless short ribs and pot roast in a ratio of 1:1. Many people also add brisket, but I've found that really does very little to the mix. I grind it fresh and only refrigerate, never freeze it. I know this might not be too convenient, but if you make up a few pounds and plan out the week, you'll be fine. I'll post another time about beef grinding techniques. You'll never go back.

I know that BPA is an issue with canned foods, especially tomatoes. So we chose to limit the amount of canned foods we eat and try to buy from companies that have better lining in their cans such as Eden. In this case, we are hoping Trader Joe's, which has one of the largest BPA free canned sections, will either start canning this wonderful sauce in glass or change the lining.
 


Comments

09/17/2014 1:44am

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04/11/2017 3:32am

As a pasta lover, I know that a sauce plays an important role to an overall taste f a pasta recipe. For almost 10 years, I've tasted many types of pasta sauce, including your meat pasta sauce. I have also prepared this kind of sauce for my family, and they liked it! No one's going to argue with me if I will say that meat pasta sauce is undoubtedly one of the best! By the way, I'll share this recipe to my friends who are also into cooking!

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