Fast and Easy Weeknight Spaghetti

Fast and Easy Weeknight Spaghetti Sauce

While there’s nothing I like more than making a Bolognese sauce from scratch – except for cheese – I just don’t have the hours required for this endeavor during the week.  For instance, on Monday night I left work at 6:15 pm, headed to the computer store to see if they could fix or at least recover data from my laptop that committed hari kari last week, and painted two test patches on a wall upstairs to see if either would work for my home office (Medici Malachite I love you even if Jim doesn’t).  By 7:30 pm it was time to get dinner cooking and on the table. 

And that’s where Fast and Easy Weeknight Spaghetti comes in.  20 minutes from start to finish:

Fast and Easy Weeknight Spaghetti

Serves 4 people.


  • 1 lb extra lean ground beef (I use 96/4 from Trader Joe’s) or ground turkey;
  • 1/2 large onion diced (any onion will do but I like Walla Walla Sweets or Vidalia);
  • 1/2-1 TBSP garlic;
  • 1 standard size jar of tomato and basil marinara (I like Trader Joe’s organic tomato and basil marinara);
  • 1-2 tsp Oregano;
  • Pepper;
  • Fresh Basil;
  • Parmesan; and
  • 3/4 package dry Spaghetti or Vermicelli noodles (I like whole wheat spaghetti noodles).


  • Place a large frying pan or skillet on the stove-top over medium heat;
  • Add ground beef or turkey, breaking into small pieces; 
  • Stir frequently; 
  • After 2 minutes of browning add onion.
  • Once meat is browned you can either drain the fat or if you are using very lean beef or turkey proceed to the next step;
  • Add 1/2 -1 TBSP garlic, Jim and I really like garlic so I add a full TBSP;
  • Add the entire jar of sauce;
  • Add pepper to taste;
  • Add 1-2 tsp Oregano (I use 2, but again this is a personal preference thing);
  • Stir;
  • Turn heat to simmer and cover sauce;
  • Bring water and a pinch of salt (I like Kosher or sea salt) to boil in a pasta pot or another pot deep enough to accommodate your spaghetti noodles;
  • When water is boiling, add spaghetti noodles and take cover off of sauce, if you like a thick sauce you can turn heat up to medium at this point;
  • Cook noodles for 7 minutes if you like them al dente, 8 if you like them more well done;
  • Drain noodles;
  • Dish up noodles, top with sauce and fresh basil and/or grated parmesan;
  • Serve and enjoy!

In the mood for a spicier spaghetti?  Use Newman’s Own Sockarooni sauce and add hot italian sausage to your ground beef.

In other news: I posted a new article on 27 Restaurants in Seattle with Award Winning Wine Lists.  You can check it out here.

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