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Spaghetti with Meat Sauce and Balsamic-Roasted Carrots

/ Source: Cook Smarts
35 mins
25 mins
Spaghetti with Meat Sauce and Balsamic Roasted Carrots
Cook Smarts
35 mins
25 mins


  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • ½ Tbsp Italian seasonings
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • ½ onion, rough-chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and rough-chopped
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 Tbsp cooking oil
  • 10 oz spaghetti
  • Parmesan, for serving
  • Carrots
  • 1 1/2 lbs carrots
  • 2 Tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • Preparation

    To prep:

    Make pasta: Bring a saucepan of water to boil. Salt generously and add pasta. Cook until al dente, tender but not soggy. Drain. Can be done up to 3 days ahead.

    Season meat:  Mix together ground meat, red pepper flakes, Italian seasoning, salt and black pepper. Can be done up to 1 day ahead.

    Rough chop garlic, onions , carrots (for spaghetti) and celery, and then puree in a blender, food processor or with an immersion blender. Can be done up to 3 days ahead.

    To cook:

    1. Heat oven to 425F degrees. Toss chopped carrots with cooking oil and spread onto a sheet pan. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes, shaking and rotating the pan once midway through.
    2. Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add oil and then meat to heated oil.
    3. Use a wooden spoon to break meat up into bits. Brown for 4 to 6 minutes.
    4. Fold in your veggie puree and saute for another 3 to 4 minutes.
    5. Add crushed tomatoes. Boil and then simmer uncovered (be careful of spattering or just embrace it and clean up later) for 15 to 20 minutes.
    6. When sauce is done simmering, taste and then season with more spices, salt, and/or pepper. If the sauce tastes too tart or acidic, temper it with something sweet like sugar.
    7. As soon as roasted carrots are done, toss with balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, and some salt and pepper to taste.
    8. Divide pasta into bowls and plates and let everyone spoon as much sauce as they want over pasta. Serve with as much parmesan as you want and enjoy with roasted balsamic carrots on the side.
    Source: Cook Smarts