I like my pasta sauce chunky. Mighty chunky. Chunkier than any jarred sauce could ever provide, yet I’m too lazy and pressed for time to start completely from scratch. My sauce is a hybrid, using fresh ingredients to bulk up a good store-bought jar of sauce. On this particular day I forgot to buy mushrooms, which was disappointing. Don’t be like me. Use mushrooms.

Chop up 2 sweet bell peppers.

And a few tomatoes. This is 6 Roma tomatoes.

Make sure you have some basil. Basil brightens up the whole dish.

Saute the peppers and maybe some onion in about 1 tablespoon of olive oil, until they brown and soften a bit. Add some garlic in there, too. I didn’t because I was using a sauce that started pretty garlicky. While they’re cooking, brown some ground beef if you’re into meat sauce. I am very into meat sauce, so I use 1-1.5 pounds per jar of sauce.

Add your tomatoes and basil.

Cook over medium heat until the tomatoes break down most of the way.

Grab your sauce…

And pour it in. If you’re using meat, add it now.

Cook the sauce for a few minutes to get it nice and hot, then add a few handfuls of spinach.

It will start to wilt as you stir it.

And it will look like this when it’s done.

Put a huge scoop over your favorite pasta. I chose spaghetti squash as the vehicle for my sauce, because I’ve got baby weight to lose.


1 jar pasta sauce
1 pound ground beef
olive oil
2 bell peppers
1/2 onion
1 pint mushrooms
3-4 large tomatoes
15-20 basil leaves
a few handfuls of baby spinach

Brown ground beef.

Saute onions and peppers until slightly softened. Add basil, tomato, and mushrooms, saute until the tomato is broken down. Add beef and the jar of sauce, and heat until it starts to boil.

Remove from heat, stir in spinach. Serve over pasta or spaghetti squash.

Chunky Pasta Sauce For Cheaters
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