Friday, July 22, 2011

Spaghetti w/Meat Sauce

Who doesn't like a good Spaghetti with Meat Sauce?  Except for vegetarians...but it's just as good without adding meat.  Also perhaps Germans and Japanese, but that's another story.  Spaghetti has been a popular dish since the 18th century.  Did you know that Thomas Jefferson can be credited to bringing pasta to the United States?1  This is an easy dish to make and can be so flavorful.  There are countless versions and this is mine.  Recipe follows:

Spaghetti w/Meat Sauce
1 lb thin spaghetti noodles
1 tbls olive oil
1 lb ground beef
1/2 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tbls house seasoning
28oz can crushed tomatoes
14.5oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
6oz tomato paste
1 tbls basil pesto
5 fresh basil leaves, minced
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp dried minced garlic
8 tsp fennel seed
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
8oz sliced baby portabella mushrooms

Heat olive oil in pot  to medium high.  Add onion and garlic and cook until onion is translucent.  Add ground beef and House Seasoning.  Cook until beef is browned all the way through and no longer pink.  Drain but not rinse off with water.  Return to pot.
Add crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, and tomato paste.  Stir until well incorporated.  Add the pesto, fresh basil leaves, oregano, Italian seasoning, minced garlic, fennel seed, bay leaf, and Parmesan cheese.  Stir until mixed well and then add mushrooms.  Turn heat to low and let simmer for a while.  I like to let it sit for a few hours while stirring occasionally. This lets the flavors really combine with each other.  It also makes my place smell amazing and really builds your appetite up.
Cook noodles as directed on package.  I prefer Angel hair pasta, but my wife likes the thin spaghetti noodles.  So guess what, we're having thin spaghetti noodles.  You're welcome again, dear.
When noodles are finished cooking, drain well.  Put noodles on plate and top with meat sauce.  Top with some grated Parmesan cheese.

You can buy fresh basil at most grocery stores.  Or you can come pick some from my "herb garden."  This dish can be preceded with a nice salad.  I have to have garlic bread with this meal.  Unfortunately for everyone, I just used Cole's frozen garlic bread loaf this time.  Eventually I will get my garlic bread recipe posted...stay tuned.  Green beans also go great with this dish if you need another side item.  I don't think you will though.