Paul's Spaghetti Sauce v2.1Warren

Recipe history: We had dinner at Paul's a few years back, and he made us a really mean spaghetti sauce. He gave us the recipe, and I made it with success a couple of times. Then I lost the recipe and, while in the middle of making it one night (I had remembered the Prego and the beef part), I called up Paul. Paul wasn't home, however, and Paula said she had no idea (how Paul made it), but offered up a few spices. So, I winged it and it tasted as good as I remembered it. Later, I've tried various combinations, depending on what's available and I can find. (Sometimes I can't be bothered to find the parsley flakes - you know what I mean!) So, I've concluded that you can't screw it up. Sometimes it clears out the sinuses better than others, but it's always satisfying. I think the main difference between my version and Paul's is I use more green pepper and less mushrooms and onions. I like it crunchy. Recommended Pasta: fettuccini, the fresh stuff that cooks in 2-3 minutes Recommended Wine: Yes, but don't wait until you start eating. Open it up right now, in fact. And put on some good music.

1 jar Prego Spaghetti Sauce with mushrooms
1 green pepper (or more)
3/4 pound ground beef (or more)
1 small jar (or package) mushrooms (optional)
1 small onion (or less - optional)
1 clove garlic (optional)
1 teaspoon basil (or more)
garlic powder if you don't have any real garlic-sprinkle here, sprinkle there.
parsley flakes (sure if it's not hiding in the cupboard)
crushed red pepper - why not- just a bit though

Put the sauce in a big pot, set to low. Chop up the beet, fry it, add to the sauce.
Chop up the onion, fry it, add to the sauce.
Chop up the green pepper, don't fry it, add to the sauce.
Chop up the garlic, if you found it, add to the sauce.
If you found the spices (basil, parsley flakes, crushed red pepper) add them to the sauce.

Simmer for as long as you can wait. An hour or more is best.

Anita's comments on Warren's version of Paul's recipe: I make this sauce too, but I guess mine is Paul's Spaghetti Sauce v2.2. I often use more sauce to begin with and, no matter what, I use at least 2 green peppers.

I never skip the onion or garlic, God forbid. Mushrooms (which I've only ever seen Warren eat in Laurie's "Chicken with Mushrooms" recipe) are something I try not to skip--and it tastes better with fresh mushrooms. I also add chunks of red bell pepper and slices of carrot in my version. I add twice the amount of basil Warren does and have no problem finding the parsley. (The basil is the key to this recipe. I remember Paul telling me you can never use too much- just like you can never under bake a chocolate chip cookie.) Since we both eat each other's sauce, I guess this just proves that Paul's basic recipe is delicious no matter how you fool around with it.

P.S. Follow Warren's pasta recommendation and don't make the wine red!

Warren's follow-up to Anita's comments on Warren's version of Paul 's recipe: See, mine is v 2.1 because Anita's is really v 2. O. If she thinks hers is v 2. 2, then I'd like to announce a new version: v2.3. In this version, I will confess that I never, ever, add mushrooms. My version also runs on Windows or Linux, includes full documentation, has free upgrades, and telephone or e-mail support is available.

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