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Feb 12, 2010 07:24 PM

Need EASY spaghetti recipe using trader joe's jar sauce and ground beef [moved from General Topics]

I DON'T want to make the sauce from scratch. I am lazy. I don't have canned tomatoes or tomato puree and don't have the energy to go to the store to buy some. I just want to use my jar of Trader Joe's Italian Sausage sauce, ground beef, onions and garlic...

Will it work if I just sautee the ground beef with onions and garlic and then just toss in a bit of the jarred sauce? How long do I simmer the beef and sauce together? Or you have a better idea let me know. And no, please don't suggest I "make my own sauce" by getting can of tomato chunks or canned paste. I just want to use what I have right now. Thank you!

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  1. I hear you. I don't want a bunch of oh-so-easy recipes -- I have them already. Just saute onion & garlic to soften, add the beef and brown, add the sauce + a splash of dry red wine and simmer for about ten minutes.

    2 Replies
      1. re: jackie100

        Oh, I would pour out the fat before adding the wine and sauce...

    1. Yes, this will work. Simmer just a few minutes.

      1. i've never had that particular sauce, but depending on the ingredients the flavor might also benefit from some additional dried herbs.

        4 Replies
        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

          What kind of herbs, like basil? Does it make a difference if the herbs are dried or fresh?

          1. re: jackie100

            it depends on what's already in there - i've never had that particular sauce. but whatever you use, dried are best added at the beginning and left to simmer for a while. fresh herbs, however, should be stirred in at the very end.

            check the label to see if it lists the herbs in the sauce. if not, you can't go wrong with dried oregano & basil. and i'm guessing the sausage contains fennel seed since it's traditional in Italian sausage - you can always crush a little & add it to boost the flavor.

            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

              I am making it right now... wow, it actually tastes DELICIOUS! I never actually cooked spaghetti with browned ground meat before ever! Mainly because I was trying to cut out red meat out of my diet but for some reason I just felt like eating traditional spaghetti today. It tastes really good even though I used jar sauce. I used dried basil because that's all I have....

              What does adding red wine do? How does it change or add to the taste? Maybe I will try that next time. Don't have red wine handy because I don't drink.

              This is so quick and easy to make. Does it make a difference if you simmer the sauce for 2 hours etc? I read a lot of recipes and some of them required simmering for 2 hours etc. I am too lazy to go through all of that... Does it taste way better that way?

              1. re: jackie100

                I make this all the time and everyone, adults and kids alike, always loves it. [with a different brand jarred sauce] I don't typically add wine to mine and don't generally miss it - while I feel wine is a nice additional to a more homemade sauce, it doesn't seem to do much for me in this type of sauce. I usually add some tomato paste too (to help thicken it up) and don't like it simmer for hours since it doesn't then need that time to thicken. Of course, some jarred sauces are thicker/waterier than others so this varies. I even make this in huge batches and freeze smaller portions so I always have some on hand for when I don't feel like really cooking; sauce defrosts in the time it takes the pasta to cook = perfect!

        2. I usually use a jar of sauce for my spaghetti, and just doctor it up:

          - Sautee some garlic and red chili flakes in olive oil until fragrant
          - Add chopped onion, sweat
          - In another sautee pan (to get good browning, or the same pot if you wish) cook up some veggies, sometimes I'll use eggplant, squash, mushrooms....
          - Brown your meat in the pot you have the garlic, chili, and onion.
          - Throw in your veggies and sauce
          - Let simmer and add salt, pepper, italian seasoning to taste