Hearty Homestyle Spaghetti

One of my favorite meals my mom used to make was her spaghetti. We lived on a farm when I was growing up, and a few times a summer, we spent the day, or even the weekend, baling hay in the hot sun. Mom always had a huge pot of filling, flavorful spaghetti ready for us at the picnic table when we were done…and then we all promptly passed out on the lawn in a summer pasta coma! The key is to be sure you eat this after you’re finished life for the day. Mine isn’t quite as good as hers, but it has become a favorite in our house and even curly girl likes to slurp her “sketti noonels”.

I got away from eating pasta for a long time after being diagnosed with the MTHFR genetic mutation – every kind of delicious thing that is pre-packaged is enriched with all kinds of things that are terrible for you, especially if you aren’t able to process them properly. BUT Mama got me a pasta maker for Christmas, and so we are back in business! Carb loading in preparation for a short little 5k is a necessity, right? And I also found this brand of pasta at Aldi that is non-enriched, so when I don’t have a ton of time to make my own fresh pasta, I love this as an easy and healthy alternative!

I don’t prefer sweet spaghetti sauces, and after I had done a few rounds of Whole30, I was horrified at the amount of sugar in canned sauces. So, here is my Whole30 compliant homemade sauce – if you are doing the challenge, simply serve it over spaghetti squash or zoodles. But for the rest of us, enjoy that plate of pasta once in awhile – life is short!

You’ll Need (for about 4 people):
2 Tbsp olive oil
½ yellow onion, minced
2-3 cloves of garlic, skins on
3-4 sprigs fresh oregano, minced
1 tsp each garlic powder and onion powder
½ tsp each paprika, salt, and ground black pepper
2 tsp dried Italian herb mix
1 pound ground turkey
24 ounces tomato sauce
small can of tomato paste
pinch red pepper flakes, optional

What To Do:
Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat – add ground meat and allow to brown for a few minutes. Add garlic cloves, making sure they are in contact with heat directly. Add onion and all herbs and spices. Allow to cook several minutes until meat is totally browned, onions are translucent and herbs are aromatic. Rescue your garlic cloves, transfer them to a cutting board and press down on them with the flat side of a knife to remove garlic from skins. Move skins to trash and chop garlic finely and return to the pot.

Add tomato sauce and paste and reduce heat to a slow simmer – cover and allow to cook at least 30 minutes, but longer is better. Season to taste if you prefer more heat, salt, etc.

Boil up your pasta when you’re ready and reserve some of the pasta water to thin out the spaghetti sauce if it has reduced too much – serve piping hot with wine and bread and do your best imitation of an Italian grandmama as you fill everyone up with this delicious and hearty dinner! Enjoy!

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