Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Easy Spaghetti That Doesn't Suck

A supposed recipe: Get a jar of spaghetti sauce and warm it up. Boil some spaghetti. Brown some ground beef and mix it into the sauce. Put it all together. Tasty, eh?

Generally not. Often the whole thing ends up too watery, or the sauce is too sweet, or too salty, or the spaghetti is limp. In other words, not really worth even the small effort of mixing store-bought ingredients.

Tonight I finally stumbled on a combination that makes this boring meal taste mighty good -- almost special:

Brown a pound or so of lean ground beef (10% fat at the most) in a large skillet, on Medium/High. Keep chopping it up as it browns. Once it is all brown, keep stirring it until all the water boils off. Don't drain anything. Cook the meat until it is not wet anymore (but don't kill it).

Pour on top of this a 25 oz jar of Trader Joe's Organic Marinara sauce. Reduce the heat to medium or low. Let it bubble slowly, uncovered, so that it thickens as it warms up.

While the meat and sauce are thickening, boil a pound of spaghetti, until it is hard al-dente. Remember that it will continue softening a bit after you stop cooking it. Strain the spag in a colander. Dump the meat-sauce into the spag pot. Then pour the spag back into the pot and stir it up.

Serve the spag using a ladle with teeth (spaghetti ladle).

Top it with shredded Pecorino Romano. Don't skimp. Pecorino makes ordinary food taste special.

If you do everything right, you'll end up with tasty browned meat, with a minimum of water, with good firm pasta, and first-rate cheese.

You might have a different favorite sauce, but try TJ's Organic Marinara first. I've tried lots of sauces, and so, so many of them seem to simply suck. Perhaps they don't, but I know that the above combination of factors results in a simple meal I can really enjoy.

Pretty unusual, for such an ordinary, often unpleasant dish.


Post a Comment

<< Home