When I can't figure out what to make, I usually turn to a Bolognese (fancy word for meat sauce). It's super easy and super tasty. I usually serve it over whole wheat pasta but when I'm feeling super fancy and super patient, I'll serve it over spaghetti squash (you'll find the recipe for that here).
All you'll need to make your Bolognese is:
2 tbs. olive oil
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. herbs de provence
3 minced cloves of garlic
1 lb. ground beef (I like the organic ground beef from Costco)
1 medium yellow onion chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
1 cup crimini mushrooms (white mushrooms will do just fine if that's all you have)
1/4 cup chopped basil leaves
1 jar pasta sauce (Trader Joe's has delicious -and cheap!- choices)
I should warn you that unless you love the lingering smell of garlic on your hands (which I don't mind but Daniel HATES), wear gloves!!!
1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat-high.
2. Add the chopped onions and 1/2 of the salt and 1/2 of the pepper and continue to sauté until the onions are brown and are now sweet. Once the onions are brown, add the mushrooms and let sauté for about 5-10 minutes. Finally, add the garlic and sauté for just a minute (you do NOT want to burn the garlic, it will taste bitter and icky).
3. Crumble the ground beef into the pan into small pieces, and, using a wooden spoon (they don't transfer the heat the same way a metal spoon wood, and they can also be safely used without scratching the bottom of the saucepan), sauté for about 5 minutes.
*you may need to drain the fat so instead of trying to drain it, spoon it out using a metal spoon to avoid dropping it in the sink*
4. Once the meat starts to brown up, add the rest of the salt and pepper, and herb de provence.
5. Continue sautéing for another few minutes until the meat is ALMOST cooked all the way through (it will continue cooking in the sauce and remain moist and tender if you don’t cook it all the way before you add the sauce)
6. Add the entire jar of the pasta sauce and let it sit on medium-low for about 10 minutes, until the meat is fully cooked and all of the flavors have come together.
7. To finish the sauce, add the chopped basil to the sauce and serve over your pasta or spaghetti squash.