Spaghetti and Mighty Marinara Sauce

Spaghetti and Mighty Marinara Sauce


50 servings

Prep time

45 minutes

Cooking time

20 minutes




50 Spaghetti and Mighty Marinara Sauce

Total time

1 hour 5 minutes

Everyone’s favorite spaghetti pasta recipe with ground beef in marinara sauce developed by the California Culinary Centers for school food service menu planning.

This recipe yields one–12 inch by 20 inch by 6 inch steam pan, or 50–¾ cup or 6 ounce spoodle servings of spaghetti pasta with marinara sauce and ground beef.


    Ingredients list includes measure by weight or volume. Choose one measure, either weight or volume, for the ingredient. Weight is listed first in bold.

    For the Pasta

    5 pounds frozen, raw, fine ground beef, 85 percent lean meat and 15 percent fat (U.S. Department of Agriculture [USDA] food item)

    3 gallons water

    3½ pounds dry, whole grain-rich spaghetti pasta

    ¼ cup ready to use garlic, minced

    ¼ cup vegetable oil (USDA food item)

    1 number 10 can no added salt diced tomatoes, canned (USDA food item)

    2 cups no added salt tomato paste, canned (USDA food item)

    1 quart water

    1½ teaspoons granulated sugar

    1½ teaspoons ground black pepper

    1½ teaspoons table salt

    1 bunch as purchased (AP) or 1 cup fresh basil, chopped

    4 ounces AP or 1½ cups fresh spinach leaves, chopped


    To Prepare Beef

    1. Thaw ground beef in refrigerator one to two days in advance at 41°F or lower. Critical Control Point (CCP): Thaw ground beef in the refrigerator at 41°F or lower.

    2. Brown beef in large skillet, until cooked through with an internal temperature of 155°F for at least 15 seconds. CCP: Cook beef until internal temperature reaches 155°F for at least 15 seconds.

    3. Place cooked beef in one–12 inch by 20 inch by 6 inch steam pan. Hold in warmer at 135°F until ready to serve. CCP: Hold cooked beef in warmer at 135°F until ready to serve.

    To Prepare Spaghetti Noodles

    1.One hour prior to service, bring water to full boil in large stock pot.

    2. Break dry spaghetti in half. Add spaghetti to boiling water, cook for 7 to 9 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cook until al dente, test at 7 minutes, continue to cook if necessary. Do not overcook.

    3. Drain and hold until ready to serve. Note: If pasta sticks together, run under hot water to separate and shake off excessive water before mixing with sauce.

    To Prepare Mighty Marinara Sauce

    1. Measure garlic, set aside.

    2. Heat oil over medium heat in stock pot or tilt skillet. Add garlic and sauté for one minute.

    3. Add diced tomatoes with juice, tomato paste, water, sugar, pepper, and salt to sautéed garlic.

    4. Stir ingredients to combine. Bring to boil. Lower heat and simmer for 30 minutes, stir often.

    5. Rinse basil under cool running water. Trim and chop basil to measure 1 cup, and set aside.

    6. Rinse spinach under cool running water. Trim and chop spinach to measure 1½ cups.

    7. Add basil and spinach to marinara sauce. Stir well. Remove from heat.

    8. Add marinara sauce to beef, mix well.

    9. Stir spaghetti into meat sauce, mix well. Cover with parchment paper and foil, hold in warmer until service. CCP: Hold Spaghetti with Mighty Marinara Meat Sauce at 135°F until service

    10. Serve one ¾ cup or 6 ounce spoodle of Spaghetti with Mighty Marinara Meat Sauce.

Nutritional Analysis

Calories, in K calories: 366

Carbohydrates, in grams: 29.20

Protein, in grams: 30.30

Saturated fat, in grams: 5.30

Trans fat, in grams: 0

Total fat, in grams: 14.20

Sodium, in milligrams: 102.20

Recipe Options

The CA Culinary Centers have calculated and tested the yields for this standardized recipe. You may choose to vary the spices in the recipe to meet the taste preferences of your students. For example, using a 1.5 to 2 ratio for spices when doubling the recipe yield from 50 to 100. However, changing or substituting any other ingredients may result in a different yield, meal contribution, or dietary specification, and should be considered a different recipe