It’s April vacation week in our state, so the kids have had a relaxing week. With no school there also has been no gymnastics, no track practice, no conditioning sessions, no dinner has to be served at an exact time to meet our schedules’ needs. Of course, that doesn’t mean that it was a quiet week here. When you have a teen and almost teen in your house, time off from school equals time spent with friends. So, for three of the four weeknights there were sleepovers either at our house, a friend’s house, or both.
On the fourth night, in which both kids were home without friends, my husband had a busy day of meetings. There was no chance that he would be available for dinner before 8:00. However, after a late night the previous night for both kids, dinner at 8:00 seemed like a bad idea for them. So, as 5:00 rolled around, I asked our son what he wanted for dinner. Checking out options, he decided to give a try at making his own marinara that had a decent amount of meat in it.
It was a nice way to spend the evening with an almost 14 year old. While he did all of the work making the sauce, I watched and talked about various things with him. In addition to having a good conversation, he also learned how to use a blender with hot liquids and secrets hints on making marinara. (Ok, they’re not really secrets, as the recipe is being posted but more like important hints.)
JP was quite pleased with the sauce that he had made. Although neither my husband nor I had it for dinner later that evening, we both had some as part of our lunches during the week. We found it to be well seasoned, hearty (with the generous amount of meat), and flavorful from the addition of parmesan cheese.
- 1-1/4 lb. ground beef
- 1 Tb. olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, diced
- 1 28-oz. can whole tomatoes
- 1 Tb. sugar
- 1-1/2 tsp. salt
- 1-1/2 tsp. basil
- 1-1/2 tsp. oregano
- 2 Tb. tomato paste
- parmesan cheese, grated
- Place a medium-sized stock pot over medium heat. Add beef, and cook thoroughly.
- Drain beef on paper towel-lined plate, and discard any grease remaining in pot.
- Wipe excess grease out of pot, and pour olive oil into pot.
- When heated, add onions, and sauté for 5 minutes. Add garlic, and sauté for 1 more minute.
- Add tomatoes, sugar, salt, basil, oregano, and paste. Stir well, and heat through.
- Place small batches into blender, and purée. When all sauce has been blended, return to stock pot, and add beef.
- Stir well, and add desired amount of parmesan cheese.