A Bit of University with Meat Sauce Belgian-Style
Having lived with Europeans when I was at university then living in Belgium, meat sauce over spaghetti was a staple meal. It feeds a crowd and cheap. All good things when you are a student.
One of my favorite cookbook is Ruth van Waerebeek’s “Everybody Eats Well in Belgium Cookbook.” It is true. Everyone does eat well in Belgium. This cookbook is filled with amazing recipes that will bring your taste buds alive and satisfy your soul. Worth having in your cookbook collection.
Back to the meat sauce. This is a clean out your veggie bin recipe. Most veg will work. I usually make this with mushrooms, red peppers, and onions. Thyme is an addition to the recipe which I love. Most tomato sauces just have basil and oregano. While I do not drink wine, I do cook with it and buy drinkable wine. Best to cook this recipe the night before or in the morning giving the flavors time to blend.
Meat Sauce Belgian-Style
- 3tablespoons olive oil
- 2 onions, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 8 oz package white mushroom, sliced
- 1 carrot, peeled and diced or couple of handfuls of baby carrots
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1lb ground beef
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 heaping teaspoon oregano
- 1/2 heaping teaspoon thyme
- 1 heaping teaspoon basil
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
- 1 28 oz can peeled plum tomatoes, chopped
- 1/2 cup dry red wine
- 2 heaping tablespoons tomato paste
- salt and pepper
- 1lb thin spaghetti
- Tabasco sauce(optional)
- 1 cup grated gruyere cheese or Swiss cheese
- Heat olive oil in deep pan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions, bell pepper, mushrooms, and carrots. Cook until soft, 5 to 8 minutes. Add half the garlic and all the ground beef. Continue cooking over medium heat, using a wooden spoon to stir and break up the meat with, until meat is no longer pink.
- Stir in sugar, oregano, thyme, basil, red pepper flakes, and parsley. Add tomatoes and juices, red wine, and tomato paste. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 35 minutes.
- Add remaining garlic.