Tag Archives: Winter 2023

Cooking with Caroline – Winter 2023

Welcome back to Cooking with Caroline in the dreary month of February!

Anyone else tired of the cold and snow? Since there’s no produce actually in season in Minnesota right now and most produce is expensive, I find myself looking for ways to use canned goods and cheaper vegetables in wholesome and warm recipes. An inexpensive recipe that can simmer on the stove for a few hours? What better way to spend a cold dreary Sunday in February!

So, I bring you an inexpensive and simple recipe that can simmer on a dreary winter weekend day: Grandma Wilson’s Spaghetti. 

Mom didn’t make this a ton when we were kids, but I remember it always being a treat. You simply set the sauce to simmer and come back later to add the meat and vegetables. I promise it’s better than any jar of spaghetti sauce and it’s worth doubling for a few days of leftovers or if you’re feeding a large family.

  • Sauce:
    • One large can diced tomatoes (28 oz)
    • One can tomato paste (6 oz)
    • 6 oz of water
    • ½ t red cayenne pepper
    • ½ t black pepper
    • 1 t salt
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 medium onion (chopped)


Combine the ingredients for the sauce and let simmer on the stove for 2 hours (taste periodically to check levels of spice). Then, brown the ground beef, garlic, and onions. Combine with the sauce and let simmer for 30 minutes. Serve with spaghetti noodles or noodles of your choice.



  • This recipe is a bit spicy, so temper the red cayenne pepper or use a more mild red pepper if you don’t like the heat. 
  • Grandma Wilson always used whole canned tomatoes from her garden – if you choose to use whole tomatoes, plan on needing to simmer it a bit longer. 
  • If you like thicker spaghetti, leave the sauce to simmer uncovered, but if you like thinner sauce, cover it while simmering.
  • Add some tomato sauce before the meat if you find the sauce to be too thick for your liking.