Monday, February 4, 2013

Dad's Famous Spaghetti

You know those smells that transport you to another time and place? That make you feel like somehow everything is right in the world? That's what this spaghetti is to me. I've been eating this for as long as I can remember, and I'm pretty sure it was one of my first meals. My brothers and I loved it growing up, hence the name Dad's 'Famous' Spaghetti. It may not be complicated or super gourmet, but it was and still is one of my favorite meals! When I went away to college, I had to ask my Dad for the recipe so I could take it with me. Somehow, no matter how many times I make it, I can never get it to taste exactly like my Dad's, but it's close enough to make me feel at home every time :) 


  • 1 lb ground turkey (I use turkey but my dad usually uses beef unless I'm eating it)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 bell pepper (usually use green, I had yellow this time, so it's what I used)
  • 28 oz can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 jar store bought sauce 
  • 6oz can tomato paste
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 bay leaves 
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Heat a large saucepan over medium/high heat and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Add ground meat and cook until brown. Remove from pan and set aside.

Chop onions and bell pepper to desired size. I like to leave them a little chunky, but when I was little my brother wouldn't eat large chunks of vegetables (he still won't by the way), so my Dad pulverized them. 

Spray a little more cooking spray into the pan and add vegetables. Sweat just until slightly soft and onions are translucent. Add wine and scrape up any brown bits that have accumulated on the bottom of the pan. 

Add the whole tomatoes and crush with a wooden spoon (you can also do this in a food processor if you prefer a smoother sauce). 

Add the jar of sauce, tomato paste, bay leaves, salt and pepper. Simmer for at least 30 minutes on low heat to allow all the flavors to meld together. The longer, the better!

Serve with spaghetti or your favorite noodle!

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