When Only Comfort Food Will Do: Weeknight Spaghetti

When Only Comfort Food Will Do: Weeknight Spaghetti

As a kid, spaghetti night was always my favorite night of the week. It was usually on Wednesdays and we'd usually have it with simple garlic toast.

This is my take on the classic easy-peasy weeknight spaghetti dish. If you don't have red wine, you can substitute with beef stock or water.


Serves: 4

Cost: $

Skill Level: Easy

Time to Make: 40-60 minutes


16 ounces spaghetti

Olive oil

1 medium onion

4 cloves of garlic

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1/3 cup red wine (or beef stock or water)

1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes

Crushed red pepper to taste

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 pound loose hot Italian sausage

1/2 pound lean ground beef

1/3 cup reserved pasta cooking water

1/3 cup parsley

Salt and pepper to taste


Prep Ingredients: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, prep the rest of the ingredients. Mince the onion and the garlic. Finely chop the parsley.

Start the Sauce: In a large pot, heat a slick of olive oil over medium high. Add the sausage and ground beef and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon, until cooked through and well browned. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a paper towel lined bowl and discard the fat.

Add another slick of oil to the same pot over medium high heat. Add the onions and cook until soft and translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tomato paste and stir, cook for 1 minute or until the tomato paste begins to deepen in color. Add the wine and reduce heat, stir to combine until you have a thick sauce. Cook for 10 minutes over low heat. Stir in the crushed tomatoes, ground beef and sausage, and sugar and season with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper to taste. Cook for 30-60 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.

Prepare the Pasta: In the pot of boiling water, cook the pasta until al dente. Reserve 1/3 cup of the pasta cooking water and then drain.

Finish the Sauce: Add the pasta cooking water and chopped parsley to the sauce and stir to combine. Taste and season as you like. Remove from heat.

To Serve: If you plan on having leftovers, dish out what you plan on eating right away into a medium bowl and toss with the desired amount of sauce. Divide the pasta and sauce between plates. Store the remaining pasta and sauce, separately, in the fridge.

Designer and photographer living in NYC. I work as a design manager in ed tech and I make tasty recipes in my spare time!