Eating a bowl of this for dinner tonight was one of the most nostalgic meals I have had in a while. And this is after six months of revisiting my childhood meals. We ate A LOT of spaghetti. It even became a Halloween tradition because it was such an easy meal to scarf down before heading out in the Calgary October, snowsuits on and pillow cases ready. Speaking to my mom on the phone today, I learned that my Nana used to always serve it for Halloween night dinner too because she knew that my mom and uncle would be too excited to eat very much.
For the ground beef substitute, this time I opted to use finely chopped mushrooms instead of ground round. A bit like the meatballs in my cheesy meatball pizza recipe. This sure isn’t your thin as water buffet tomato sauce. This sauce may as well be a meal to itself.
2 trays of sliced cremini mushrooms (approximately 20 mushrooms)
1 onion, chopped
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce
1 can tomato paste
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried crushed chilies
1 tsp. cinnamon
Finely chop the mushrooms in a food processor. If you have a mini one like me, it may take a few batches. Spoon the chopped mushrooms into 3 layers of paper towel, one cup at a time. Ring out as much of the moisture as possible so that they will cook faster and dryer.
Heat a splash of olive oil in a medium sized frying pan. Fry the mushrooms and onions at high heat to cook off any extra moisture. Cook until the vegetables are softened.
In a large saucepan, combine the rest of the ingredients. Add the mushrooms and onions. Bring the sauce to a boil and then simmer for 1 hour.
Spoon a hearty warm spoonful on top of a bowl of cooked spaghetti or anything else you feel like punching up with some spag sauce.