My mom makes a few things that are just, like, my all-time, favorite meals. Some of them I don't cook at home because I would probably be the only one eating them (like chicken veggie spaghetti pie and taco spaghetti), but this? This Aaron will eat.
This is not a complicated recipe. Spaghetti sauce should not be complicated. Like most recipes, I do alter it to suit Aaron's tastes, but it doesn't really change the flavor of it. That being said, Mom will always, always make it better than I will.
1 lb cooked spaghetti (actually I like linguini)
1 lb Italian sausage (breakfast sausage works just as well)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can tomato paste (the small can)
1 can tomato sauce
1 can crushed tomatoes
1 can sliced mushrooms (optional)
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp basil
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
In a medium saucepan over medium heat combine the sausage, onion, and bell pepper. Cook until the meat is no longer pink. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add tomato paste, tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, and mushrooms. Mix well to incorporate the tomato paste. Add spices and stir to combine. Reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and serve over cooked pasta with fresh grated parmesan.
When I cook this at home I omit the onion, green pepper, and mushrooms and I trade an extra can of tomato sauce for the crushed tomatoes. The tomato sauce gives it a nice smooth texture that I'm quite fond of, but I love the chunks from the crushed tomatoes when Mom makes it too.