Friday, October 9, 2009

The Ragu Dilemma

Sometimes, all that Corey really wants for dinner is spaghetti with meat sauce, and he wants sauce from the jar. I've tried all varieties of homemade sauces with crushed tomatoes and pureed tomatoes and wild spices and organic tomatoes. Corey still, infuriatingly, prefers Ragu. (If my friend Christina is reading this, I am sure that she understands, given her husband's similar love affair with bottled pasta sauce).

So about every 2-3 weeks we have a Spaghetti Night with Traditional Old World Style Ragu, hamburger meat, and spaghetti noodles. Not willing to give up on my fight, however, I have added a little pinch of this and/or shake of that on occasion to liven up the dish, and it's made for a more flavorful sauce. I thought I would give you the basic recipe and then give some of my suggestions for "jazzing up" my boring old meat sauce.


Recipe Notes
It is truly impossible to go wrong with this meal.

  • Ragu Old World Style Traditional bottled pasta sauce
  • 1 lb. 92% lean hamburger meat
  • Italian seasoning blend
  • Coarse salt & ground pepper
  • 1 package uncooked spaghetti

Suggested additional "add-ins" (any combination)

  • Crushed red pepper flakes
  • Cholula hot sauce (1-2 shakes)
  • Sliced green peppers
  • Tomato paste (1-2 tbsp.)
  • Chopped basil


1. Saute hamburger meat, Italian seasoning blend, salt, and pepper (to taste) in a large skillet over medium-high heat until meat is browned. Drain in a collander and return to skillet.

2. Prepare spaghetti according to package directions.

3. While spaghetti boils, add pasta sauce to seasoned hamburger meat. Add any additional add-ins to the sauce and allow to simmer on medium-low heat while pasta boils. (Corey's favorite add-ins are crushed red pepper flakes and Cholula hot sauce).

4. Serve pasta sauce over cooked spaghetti.

BONUS: Costco carries three-packs of the extra large Ragu Old World Style Traditional pasta sauce containers. These are great to buy in bulk and keep in the pantry in case you have a dinner emergency and need a meal fast!


  1. There's nothing more comforting than spaghetti and meat sauce! Have you made Giada's Quick Marinara Recipe. The consistency is similar to the jar recipes and it makes a lot so I usually freeze half to use later! I'll send you the recipe!

  2. Sounds yummy, Catherine! I love Giada. Email it to me....would love to try it!