Spaghetti with meat sauce is a favorite food in the United States although it may have started as an Italian dish. Meat sauce can be nutritious if you know how to make it, and if you like vegetables.

Spaghetti with Meat Sauce


1 15-oz. can tomato sauce
1 12-oz. can tomato paste
2/3 c. water
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 3-oz. can mushroom pieces and liquid
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 c. sugar
1 lb. lean ground beef
1/2 c. tomato juice or water
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
8 oz. spaghetti noodles, uncooked


1. Combine tomato sauce, tomato paste, water, onion, garlic, mushrooms with liquid, nutmeg, and sugar in a Dutch oven.

2. Bring to a boil on top of the stove. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 250°F.

3. Cover and cook sauce in the oven for 2 hours. (Sauce can be cooked on top of the stove if simmered very slowly.)

4. After 2 hours, add ground beef. (You can crumble it into the sauce or shape it into meatballs about 1 inch in diameter.) Cook 1 hour.

5. Add tomato juice or water and cheese and cook for 20 minutes.

6. While sauce is cooking, prepare spaghetti al dente, following directions on package. (Be careful not to overcook spaghetti. Overcooked spaghetti will probably be too soft and will stick together.)

7. Drain spaghetti and place on a deep platter. Cover with sauce and serve.

Preparation time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 3 hours 20 minutes
Serves 4 to 6

*Ground beef can easily be omitted from spaghetti al sugo for a delicious vegetarian dish.