Pasta and meat sauce with red peppers

Last night, Sunday, I started cooking for the week. That’s the time to think about what will be good when reheated, good  for the lunchbox and your kid’s favorite so that he’ll eat it.  Pasta with meat sauce is always a sure bet.  I posted a similar dish before but this time I tried a very small variation of Vicky’s meat sauce recipe.  Perfect!



  • a packet of whole wheat pasta
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil for the pasta and one more for the meat
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • salt, pepper
  • pinch of ground clove
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped or sliced
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (14.5 ounce/400 grams)
  • 1 cup roasted red peppers, diced
  • 3 strips of peppers from Trader Joe’s frozen three color pepper strips (these are a little hot)

How to make: Boil the whole wheat past as per packet instructions. Drain the water, put back to the pot and stir in a little olive oil. This step is necessary for easy reheat. Now to the meat sauce. Put the olive oil in a saucepan. Saute the onions. Add the meat. I break the meat with my hands before putting it in the saucepan so I won’t have to mess up with it too much with the spoon while it’s in the saucepan.  Add salt, pepper, ground clove, cinnamon and saute the meat until brown. Add the garlic and the soy sauce. Give it a stir. Add the tomatoes and the peppers. Cover and cook at very  low heat for about 1 hour. Yes, 1 hour.

Notes and tips: The most important deviation from Vicky’s recipe is the peppers. Vicky doesn’ t use sweet roasted red peppers but my kids don’t like the food when it’s pepper kind of hot. So, I used roasted red peppers and only couple of regular pepper strips to give it just a little  spark. Also,  I saved some of the roasted red pepper cubes to add them on top when serving, as you can see  in the photo.  It looks good. I said it before, I’ll say it again, and again. Try whole wheat pasta instead of regular pasta, especially when you serve with strongly flavored meat sauces such as this one. It’s a much healthier choice and your kids may be fine with it. Don’t assume they won’t like it.

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