Spaghetti Sauce

1 lb. lean ground beef (I use 4% fat)
1 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 can (28 oz.) crushed tomatoes, undrained
1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce
1 can (7 oz.) mushroom stems and pieces, undrained
1 large, or two small, bay leaves
1 tsp. salt
a few grinds black pepper
1 tsp. basil, crushed
1/2 tsp. Italian herbs, crushed
1/4 tsp. marjoram, crushed
a splash of red wine (about 1/4 cup)
1/4 tsp. brown sugar, optional, depending on how acidic the tomatoes are.

How to make it

1. In a large kettle or Dutch oven over medium-low heat, cook ground beef, onion and garlic, stirring and breaking up meat until meat is crumbled and no longer pink. Be careful that the onion and garlic do not brown or they will get bitter. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
2. Add remaining ingredients and 1 cup of water, stir to combine. Bring to a boil; lower heat to simmer and cook uncovered for 2 - 3 hours or longer.
3. As the sauce simmers, it cooks down developing the flavors and thickening. You will need to watch and add water in 1/4 cup increments to keep the process going so the sauce doesn't burn.

Yield: about 6 cups
1/2 cup = 121 calories

Note: When using the sauce for spaghetti, you want a thick sauce. When using the sauce for lasagna or the Italian casserole, you want the sauce thinner because you will be baking the pasta in the sauce and pasta absorbs moisture.
Note: Crushing dried herbs in the palm of your hands releases the flavor.