I always find it handy to have a meat sauce in the freezer to throw on top of zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash at any time. Sometimes I’ll just eat it like chili or put it on sautéed kale or a sweet potato. Whatever you choose to do with it, you can’t go wrong making a big batch and saving some for later.
A few years ago I stumbled across a light pasta recipe in Eating Well Magazine that wowed me with its use of pepperoncini. For my paleo-eating ways, though, I like to have a meaty sauce that fills me up because it’s almost always the main event. While I’m smitten with my zoodles or spaghetti squash as a base, they’re pretty light so I’m looking to the sauce for the oomph.
I assure you, this recipe does not disappoint! The sauce gets its heat and a vinegar-tang from a whole jar of hot banana peppers. You could easily swap in pepperoncini here as well. Don’t worry about the heat too much because the meat will absorb a lot of it.
Hot Pepper Meat Sauce
4 slices of bacon
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, sliced
2 lbs. ground beef
16 oz. jar of hot banana peppers, sliced, stems and seeds removed
28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes
15 oz. jar of tomato sauce
1/2 c. water
1. Chop the bacon and brown over medium heat until crispy. Set aside, reserving 2 T. of the bacon grease in the bottom of the pot.
2. Add chopped onion and garlic, sauté until translucent, about 3 minutes.
3. Add ground beef and cook, breaking it into chunks, until browned, about 8 minutes.
4. Add all of the sliced hot peppers, crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, 1/2 c. water, and the reserved bacon.
5. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 45 minutes. Even longer is great!