I know, I know…. good spaghetti is supposed to take forever to cook. All the herbs have to simmer the flavor into the sauce, yada, yada, yada. Well, be that as it may, sometimes you just don’t have time for all of that, and this recipe works Really well in a fifteen minute pinch. For those of you who already know how to cook this stuff, don’t mind all the little details. I will write it for those who may not have had a lot of experience in the kitchen, just in case this gets read by someone new to cooking spaghetti.
Things you need:
One large skillet
One two or three quart pan for boiling the noodles in (or you can use that upright noodle cooker thing)
Two or three quarts of water (depending on how many people you are serving – this recipe can stretch a little)
If serving three people, enough spaghetti to fit inside a ring made by your thumb and middle finger (if you have small hands like mine)
If serving four add a little more spaghetti.
(and a tiny bit of oil for the cooking noodles to keep them from sticking to each other while they cook)
1 pound ground beef * (can be frozen – but then you have to keep cutting it off as it cooks in the pan)
Half an onion, chopped fine, or 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder (onion powder is fairly potent)
1 teaspoon iodized salt (where else are you going to get your necessary trace iodine?)
1 tablespoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon powdered summer savory
1/4 teaspoon powdered thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
(Or you can use two tablespoons of your favorite Italian Seasoning mix)
1 small can of tomato paste
1 16 oz. can of tomato sauce (you need both of these)
Start the noodles cooking first.
Put the water on to boil, add a little salt here if you want, and the little tiny bit of oil (1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon added into the water)
While you are waiting for the water to boil put the ground beef into the skillet and start it frying (turn the temp between 6 and 7 on an electric stove) If the meat is frozen, you can also add a little water to help keep it from browning too much while all the parts cook, but then you need to cover it some to keep all the heat in (add a little iodized salt onto the cooking meat, it smells better) (You really do need your trace iodine to make your thyroid function properly).
When the water is almost to a boil, add the noodles. It can stick out of the pot initially. As the noodles cook, keep poking them down. They will sort of bend/melt into the pot of water as they start cooking. Stir them up as they bend into the water to get the little bit of oil to coat them all evenly. The noodles are done when they turn almost white. They Won’t look translucent (sort of see through) anymore.
When the ground beef is all browned, pour some of the grease off of it. How much depends on how much there was in it before you started cooking (some ground beef doesn’t have much to begin with). You don’t have to get All of it off, just most of it. Don’t pour this in your kitchen drain, it has a tendency to harden down in the pipes and make everything stick to it, and then you’ve got yourself one heck of a clogged drain. If you have rose bushes, save the grease for them. They love the fat from your cooking (don’t pour it over them hot). Pour the cooled grease around the base of the roses.
When the grease is off the meat, add the tomato sauce into the skillet with the browned meat (I did say a large skillet), then the tomato paste. Then add the salt, onion, garlic and herbs. Let this simmer together for a bit. If you are serving four people, add a 1/2 cup of water to it. If it is going to be a little while (maybe someone is late), add a little more water and let it simmer down. When finished, the sauce should be just a little thinner than a good ketchup.
While this is simmering together check on the noodles. They should be getting about done by the time you have added all the ingredients together. Drain and rinse the fully cooked noodles in a colander under cold water. The cold water stops the cooking process so your noodles don’t get all gooey ( If your spaghetti has to sit for awhile, leave the noodles in some cold water to keep them moist).
If you have some ready salad fixings this goes well with spaghetti. Red leaf lettuce, baby spinach, and a chopped tomato, some halved radishes, and thinly sliced cucumbers, with a little salt and a little Italian dressing… Yummmm…
If you still have some time, butter some bread on one side, sprinkle lightly with salt and garlic powder, and slip this on a cookie sheet under the broiler for a little bit (watch it like a hawk, so it won’t get burnt).
Place a portion of the cooked noodles on a plate and ladle the finished spaghetti sauce over them. Serve hot, with the salad on the side and garlic toast. This meal goes well with milk, dark grape juice, mulled cider, or a dry red wine if you like it.
Note* If you are working on disaster preparedness, this recipe can be used with a 16 oz can of beef chunks substituted for the ground beef. All the rest of the ingredients can be part of your food storage.
© Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.