Guest Author - Phyllis Doyle Burns
Spaghetti is one of those recipes that are handed down from generation to generation. Folks each have their own way, their own secret ingredients, etc., for this family favorite. I looked in my "Down Home Recipe Box" and found one recipe for Spaghetti Pie that an old friend gave me many years ago. For a little different way of serving spaghetti, this is pretty good. Then there is my own favorite spaghetti recipe -- and there is your favorite recipe. So we can have spaghetti your way or my way.
To bring a little different taste sensation to spaghetti your way, here is one trick. Fix your favorite spaghetti recipe, place it in a lasagne pan, smother it with shredded cheddar cheese and bake till bubbly. Kids especially like this.
Spaghetti my way is with a rich, thick sauce. I use 3 cans (29 ounces each) of tomato sauce and one 12 ounce can of tomato paste. I never add water to this. I put the sauce and paste in a large pot on medium heat and blend it well with a whip. As it is heating, I add my herbs. I always sing "Scarborough Affair" when I make my spaghetti sauce, for those are the herbs I use: "Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme." I also add oregano, garlic and black pepper. I rarely add salt to anything I cook. Salt is put on the table for those who want it. Remember that herbs are to enhance foods, not overpower them. I like to taste the garlic, so add a little more.
While the sauce is simmering with a cover on it, I start browning the meats. Hamburger in one pan and Italian sausage in another pan. I season the meats with garlic powder and black pepper. When the meat is done, I drain all the grease off and add the meats to the sauce. I let the sauce simmer for at least four hours. Half an hour before serving, I taste the sauce to see if it needs anything and add herbs if necessary.
Some people like a lot of sauce on their spaghetti and some like just a little. Therefore I do not mix the sauce with the noodles. I let each person serve up their own so they can put as much or as little sauce as they prefer.
On the table I make sure there is plenty of green salad with Italian dressing, a lot of hot garlic bread, and shredded parmesan. These are absolutely necessary "must haves" for a spaghetti dinner with my family.
Here is the spaghetti pie recipe for something a little different:
(recipe makes two pies)
10 ounces spaghetti
3 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp butter
1/3 cup chopped onion
1 cup sour cram
1 pound Italian sausage
1 can (6 ounce) tomato paste
1 cup water
1/4 cup coffee (yes, coffee)
6 ounces shredded Mozzarella cheese
Cook spaghetti till done, drain. While noodles are still warm, combine with eggs and parmesan. Divide in half to fill two 10 inch pie pans. Pat mixdture aup and around sides with a spoon.
Melt butter, add onion and saute till onion is transparent. Stir in sour cream and spoon over spaghettie. Remove sausage from cfasing, crumble and cook till done. Drain. Add tomato paste, water, and coffee. Simmer ten minutes. Spoon sausage mixtue on top of spaghetti in pie pan.
Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Remove foil, sprinkle mozzarella on top and return to oven, uncovered, until cheese is melted. This freezes well, so one pie can go in the freezer for another night -- or not, if you have a hungry crew on board.
So then, spaghetti your way or my way. Either way, any way, spaghetti is good fixin's for the folks down home.