Friday, October 7, 2011

My Version of the Family Spaghetti Recipe

Most families have those recipes—the ones that are passed down from generation to generation and remind you of your childhood. This is one of my favorites from my family’s cookbook. Like many family recipes, much of it is to taste, which means it will come out slightly different each time (which is part of the fun). As a kid, my mom made this recipe as a casserole, baking the contents with cheese and olives. For my version, I try to health it up a bit by using extra-lean ground beef (ground turkey is another healthier option) and whole wheat spaghetti. I also skip the cheddar cheese (although I do sometimes add fresh grated parmesan to the top). It’s hearty, delicious and easy to put together. It also tastes great the next day, as the noodles get a chance to absorb the flavors of the sauce…my ultimate comfort food.

What you need…
  • 1 lb. extra-lean ground beef (or turkey)
  • 1lb. whole wheat spaghetti
  • 1 large can crushed tomatoes
  • 1-2 small can(s) tomato sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Chili Powder
  • Cumin
  • Garlic Powder
  • Oregano
  • Basil
  • Freshly grated parmesan (optional)

What to do…
  • Cook pasta by directions on package, drain and set aside
  • In large skillet, brown and crumble meat
  • Drain grease from skillet
  • Add crushed tomatoes to skillet and simmer
  • Add bay leaves
  • Add salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, oregano and basil to taste
  • Simmer sauce for about an hour. When sauce starts to become too thick, add one or two cans tomato sauce and continue simmering until desired texture and taste are reached
  • In a large pot, combine sauce and pasta
  • When serving, top with freshly grated parmesan (optional)
All the ingredients that make the sauce so tasty

Round of spices

Simmering sauce

Ready to eat!