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Recipes for Teens

Pasta With Meat Sauce

Nutritional labelPrep time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 2 to 3 hours

Recipe makes: 12 servings

  • 2 pounds extra-lean ground beef
  • 2 onions, peeled and diced
  • 6 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 3 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 4 fresh tomatoes, diced
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 4 ounces tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon each of dried oregano, dried thyme, dried basil, dried rosemary, and paprika
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 3 cups water
  • Salt substitute and pepper to taste
  • 6 cups cooked whole-wheat penne (about 5 cups dry)
Equipment and Supplies:
  • 2 large pots for cooking sauce and pasta
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Knife and cutting board
  1. Put the ground beef into a large pot on the stove over medium heat. Brown the beef, stirring to break up large lumps.
  2. Add the onions, carrots, celery, mushrooms, tomatoes, and garlic. Stir in the tomato paste, dried herbs, paprika, and bay leaves. Cook for 10 more minutes, stirring frequently.
  3. Add the broth and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer gently on low heat for 2 to 3 hours.
  4. Season with salt substitute and pepper to taste.
  5. Cook the penne according to the package instructions and serve each portion of sauce over ½ cup cooked pasta.

Tip: This recipe is suitable for weight management because you measure the portions. If you’re trying to lose weight, be sure to eat the recommended serving of ½ cup of pasta with ¾ cup of sauce. You can freeze leftover sauce or keep it for 2 to 3 days in the refrigerator.

Reviewed by: Meredith Parkinson, RD, LDN