Posted by: dinainsuburbia | January 9, 2009

Any day of the week Sunday Meat Sauce

Today was my first day back at weight watchers.  Although the picture isn’t all that pretty, I wasn’t as devastated as I thought I’d be!  I guess that’s a good thing, right?

In honor of today’s weigh in, I decided to make a good, old-fashioned pot of meat sauce, but a little bit healthier and lower on points. I served the meat sauce with Barilla brand whole grain pasta.  I find that their pasta still has the bite of an al dente consistency even though it’s whole grain; a lot of whole grain/whole wheat pastas are just mushy!

This recipe is from one of my favorite go-to cookbooks, Every Day Food Great Food Fast.  Broken down into seasons, Great Food Fast has you cooking delicious, and wholesome meals in season.

I played around with the recipe slightly, my changes in parentheses.  Recipe serves 6 (I made it for 2- and froze the rest of the sauce- it freezes well, up to 3 months).  Prep time 15 minutes, total time, 30 minutes.


  • 4 tablespoons butter (not WW friendly, I reduced down to 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped (I used 4)
  • 3/4 pound ground beef (I used 1 pound of meatball mix- pork, beef, and veal- slightly more lean than just beef)
  • 1 can, 28 ounces, whole or crushed tomatoes (I used the crushed brand with basil)
  • 1/2 cup milk (I used skim)
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme 
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • coarse salt & pepper
  • 1 pound pasta of choice 
  • grated Parmesan cheese for serving


1)  Heat the butter & oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Stir in the carrot, onion, and garlic.  Add the ground beef (or ground meat) and cook until it turns from pink to brown, about 5 minutes.

2)  Add the tomatoes and their liquid, crushing them with the back of a large spoon (for whole tomatoes) or as is for crushed.  Stir in the milk, bay leaf, thyme, nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon of salt,  and 1/8 teaspoon of pepper.  Simmer for 20 minutes.

3)  Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta until al dente, according to package instructions.  Reserve about 1/2 cup of the cooking water, and drain the pasta.  Return it to the warm pot.  Add the meat sauce, and toss.  Add the reserved pasta water as needed if the sauce seems dry.  To serve sprinkle with parmesan.  

In other news, I decided to buy Maddie some underwear today.  Even though she’s just a tad over 2 years old, I figured I’d rather start the whole potty training thing sooner than later.  I made a big deal about buying “Tinkerbell” underwear at Kohl’s.. she has them on right now.  So far 10 minutes in, and no accidents.  This is sure to be QUITE an adventure!  Any potty training tips will be greatly appreciated!


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