Simply Suppers – Mama’s Spaghetti

Simply Suppers - Mama's Spaghetti

This recipe is from Simply Suppers, the new cookbook by Jennifer Chandler. I follow Jennifer on twitter (@cookwjennifer) and a few weeks ago she asked if I would be interested in receiving a copy of her book and doing a review on the blog.  I told her that I would absolutely love a copy of her new book! 

I received a copy from her publisher and immediately started thumbing through it.  Normally I find one or two recipes that I want to try from a cookbook, but I found over 20 (at least) recipes that I want to try.  I could make dinner from this cookbook every weeknight for a month!  All the recipes are very straight forward and easy to make with ingredients you probably already have on hand.  My favorite thing about the book is that there is a photograph of every recipe.  I love to see what my meal is going to look like. 

After much deliberation, I finally decided on Mama’s Spaghetti as the first meal to try.  I love spaghetti but I haven’t found “the recipe” yet.  Well, I think this is it!  Chicken Legs is not a spaghetti fan and loved this recipe.  The sauce isn’t runny like some spaghetti sauces tend to be.  It was the perfect meat sauce.  It smelled wonderful and didn’t take any time to make.  I believe this will be our “go to” recipe from this point forward. 

I have SO many recipes that I want to try in the near future.  I already have the Chili con Carne, Cheeseburge Pie, Croque Monsieur and Buttermilk Pie on my menu!  There are really too many recipes to name.  This might turn out to be one of my favorite cookbooks!  Add this cookbook to your Christmas Wish List!

Simply Suppers - Mama's Spaghetti

Mama’s Spaghetti
Simply Suppers, page 111
(Printable Recipe)

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • ½ cup finely diced yellow onion (1 small onion)
  • ½ cup finely diced green bell pepper (I left this out)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (I used two!)
  • 1 can (28-oz) crushed tomatoes with juice (I used San Marzano tomatoes)
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 box (16-oz) spaghetti, cooked per package directions and kept warm

In a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, warm the oil until a few droplets of water sizzle when carefully sprinkled in to the pot. Add the meat and cook, breaking up the beef with a wooden spoon, until the meat is browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Transfer the cooked meat to a colander and drain off the excess fat.

Drain all but about 1 Tbsp of fat from the pot. Add the onion, bell pepper and garlic. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 4 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, basil, thyme and oregano. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Return the meat to the pot and stir to combine. Over high heat, bring the sauce to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, until thickened, about 45 minutes. Adjust the seasonings as needed. Serve hot over warm pasta.

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  1. I also like how thick this meat sauce looks. I bet this would be great being used in lasagna, stuffed shells, and manicotti.

  2. Jennifer's cookbooks are awesome. My husband, of all people, uses Simply Suppers all the time. I think because, as a subsistence cook, he finds it non-threatening. Our favorites: chicken pot pit (OMG!) and chicken cordon blue. Go, Jennifer!

  3. Anna- I use to buy that Kraft box in college. It was a great way to eat a real meal. I haven't made it in years. I should try it again and doctor it up like you said.

  4. I'll have to make this for my daughter. She loves chili and spaghetti with meat sauce, but I hardly ever make it because my husband doesn't like the texture of ground beef. Steph, did your mother ever make spaghetti with the box of Kraft dinner? My mother used to buy the little kit (they still sell it) which came with spaghetti noodles and a seasoning packet. The directions say to add tomato paste and water, but my mom added tomato paste, sauce, Worcestershire, peppers and onions. I think a lot of people in the neighborhood made it that way using the box mix plus their own little twist.

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