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Samantha Gleason | Bandera EC

This recipe is a great option for a make-ahead meal, as the flavors are even better the next day. In a clever trick, Gleason adds baking soda to help reduce the acidity from the tomatoes.

2 cups uncooked pasta (rotini, elbow or bow tie)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 pound ground beef or turkey
1 pound yellow squash or zucchini, diced
1/2 sweet onion, chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried sweet basil
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 cans (14.5 ounces each) fire-roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
3/4 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon sun-dried tomato paste
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
1/2 cup water or beef broth
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1. Cook pasta in lightly salted water according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan or deep-sided skillet over medium heat, add olive oil and garlic and cook 2 minutes, stirring to prevent burning. Add ground beef and cook 5 minutes, then add squash and onion. Continue to cook until beef is browned, stirring as needed.

3. Stir in oregano, basil, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt and pepper, then stir in diced tomatoes with their juices, ketchup and tomato paste.

4. In a small bowl, whisk together tomato sauce, water, Worcestershire sauce and baking soda. Slowly add the mixture to the pan, stirring until foaming stops. Cover and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. Add cooked pasta and balsamic vinegar and stir well. Cover again and simmer another 10–15 minutes.

Serves 8.

February 2022 Recipe Contest