Easy Pasta and Meat Sauce

Serves 4

This easy meat sauce doesn’t need to simmer for hours to be delicious. It takes about 45 minutes to make. To really save time, cook it the night before you plan on serving. Then, while the pasta cooks, reheat the sauce on the stove. Dinner’s done in minutes!


  • 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 medium green pepper, cored and chopped
  • 8 ounces sliced mushrooms
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced or put through a garlic press
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon gluten-free soy sauce, optional
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon salt, plus more as needed
  • 1 pound gluten-free spaghetti


Whisk together the tomato paste and water. Set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat until shimmering but not smoking. Brown the ground beef until no longer pink, about 5 minutes.

Add the green pepper, mushrooms, onion and garlic to the pan. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes, water-tomato paste mixture, oregano, basil, soy sauce, if using, and thyme. Stir. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Adjust salt to taste.

Cook spaghetti according to package instructions. Toss with sauce.

Nutrition Analysis: 690 cal, 11 g fat, 60 mg chol, 760 mg sodium, 117 g carbs, 7 g fiber, 70 g sugar, 40 g protein

Elizabeth Barbone, author of the cookbooks Easy Gluten-Free Baking and How to Cook Gluten-Free, is a regular contributor to Gluten-Free Living. She also blogs at glutenfreebaking.com.