recipe

A secret ingredient makes this meaty sauce SUPER meaty tasting: mushrooms!

safety
  • Uses a knife
  • Uses the stovetop
difficulty
  • Intermediate
time
  • 1¼ hours
yield
  • Serves 4 to 6

hey curious cook—

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Prepare Ingredients

1 pound
85 percent lean ground beef
2 tablespoons
water
1 teaspoon plus ½ teaspoon
salt, measured separately, plus salt for cooking pasta
½ teaspoon
baking soda
4 ounces
white mushrooms
1 tablespoon
extra-virgin olive oil
3
garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 tablespoon
tomato paste
1 teaspoon
dried oregano
1
(28-ounce) can tomato puree, opened
1
(14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, opened
1 pound
pasta
¼ cup
grated Parmesan cheese (½ ounce), plus extra for serving

Gather Cooking Equipment

Medium bowl
Rubber spatula
Cutting board
Chef's knife
Food processor
2
large pots
Wooden spoon
Colander
Ladle
Liquid measuring cup
Tongs
1
 
1 pound
85 percent lean ground beef
2 tablespoons
water
1 teaspoon
salt
½ teaspoon
baking soda

In medium bowl, combine beef, water, 1 teaspoon salt, and baking soda. Use rubber spatula to mix until well combined. Set aside.

 
2
 
4 ounces
white mushrooms

Use chef’s knife to trim off ends of mushroom stems and discard. Cut mushrooms in half if small or into quarters if large.

 
3
 
1
onion, peeled and chopped

Add mushrooms and onion to food processor. Lock lid into place. Hold down pulse button for 1 second, then release. Repeat until vegetables are chopped fine, about eight 1-second pulses. Remove lid and carefully remove processor blade (ask an adult for help).

 
4
 
1 tablespoon
extra-virgin olive oil

In large pot, heat oil over medium heat for 1 minute (oil should be hot but not smoking). Use wooden spoon to scrape mushroom mixture into pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened and well browned, 8 to 10 minutes.

 
5
 
3
garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 tablespoon
tomato paste
1 teaspoon
dried oregano

Stir in garlic, tomato paste, and oregano and cook for 1 minute.

 
6
 

Carefully add beef mixture. Use wooden spoon to break up meat into small pieces.

 
7
 
1
(28-ounce) can tomato puree, opened
1
(14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, opened
½ teaspoon
salt

Carefully stir in tomato puree, diced tomatoes and their liquid, and ½ teaspoon salt. Use wooden spoon to scrape up browned bits on bottom of pot. Bring to simmer (small bubbles should break often across surface of mixture).

 
8
 

Reduce heat to low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens, about 30 minutes. Turn off heat.

 
9
 
1 pound
pasta
Salt for cooking pasta

Meanwhile, set colander in sink. Add 4 quarts water to second large pot. Bring to boil over high heat. Carefully add pasta and 1 tablespoon salt to pot. Cook, stirring often with wooden spoon, until pasta is al dente (tender but still a bit chewy), 10 to 12 minutes. Turn off heat.

 
10
 

Use ladle to carefully transfer ½ cup cooking water to liquid measuring cup. Ask an adult to drain pasta in colander. Return drained pasta to now-empty pot.

 
11
 
¼ cup
grated Parmesan cheese (½ ounce), plus extra for serving

Stir Parmesan cheese into sauce. Add sauce and ¼ cup reserved pasta cooking water to drained pasta (ask an adult for help). Use tongs to toss until pasta is well coated with sauce. If needed, add remaining ¼ cup pasta cooking water, a little bit at a time, until sauce is loosened slightly and coats pasta well. Serve with extra Parmesan cheese.