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Cheater’s Pasta Meat Sauce

July 13, 2012

This is a recipe that I actually developed and has proven to be a crowd-pleaser every time I’ve served it.  When my son was younger, he loved to invite friends over for dinner on a moment’s notice.  Not wanting to discourage him from offering hospitality, I began keeping all of these ingredients on hand so that I could whip up a hearty meal for growing boys. Over time, his friends would ask for this.  I remember one even saying that my spaghetti sauce was better than his mother’s. I cautioned him NOT to tell her that he felt that way as I didn’t want to make an enemy!

So, why is it called “Cheater’s Pasta Meat Sauce?” I was inspired to give it that name after seeing an old “Everybody Loves Raymond” episode.  Raymond’s father disclosed that Raymond’s mother – reknowned for her Italian cooking -often used jarred pasta sauce if she was running short on time.  Oh the shock that followed!  She was accused of “cheating” as her sons had always thought that their mother’s pasta sauce was “from scratch” and that it took all day to cook – as a good Italian sauce sometimes does.

I never tried to hide how I made the sauce if asked – but I didn’t necessarily volunteer the secret to my success either ;). Anyway, this recipe is really easy, really tasty and really quick to prepare.

Cheater’s Pasta Meat Sauce

1 pound of extra lean ground meat

½ tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. salt

½ tsp. ground black pepper

1 24 ounce jar of Prego Veggie Smart Italian Sauce (or your favorite sauce flavor)

1/3 cup of water

Spray a large pot with cooking spray and brown ground meat over medium high heat.  Add garlic powder, salt and black pepper and cook until meat is thoroughly cooked.  Add jar of sauce and water, bring to a boil, turn heat down to low and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring periodically.

Serve over the pasta of your choice.

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