Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Old School Spaghetti

Do you remember back in the day when you were a youngen and you had the treat of having spaghetti for dinner?  Or how about when you were first learning to cook and one of the easiest (and yummiest) things that you could make was spaghetti?  It was cool because you could have a "dinner party"...aka all your college friends came over with some cheap wine that they got someone else to buy for them and you had made dinner!  It was nice because you could feed a ton of them with one pot, salad out of a bag (when it was invented), and some bread.  Of course, if you were like me, you had some vegetarian friends which meant that you had to do a meatless marinara sauce, too (i.e., just sauce out of jar with some extra veggies thrown in).

Nowadays, I tend to steer away from these types of recipes as I search for new and exciting meals to make.  I want things that are healthier (or so they seem) than a "traditional" spaghetti from my childhood, but I've been craving a night that doesn't require much effort or brain-power and provides us with lunch for a couple of days.  Maybe it was the 80s A to Z videos that they were playing on VH-1 Classic today that inspired me to make this throwback meal, but whatever it was, I opted to break out a jar of spaghetti sauce (usually reserved for chicken parm or stuffed spaghetti squash), a green pepper, a couple of cloves of garlic, an onion, and some lean ground beef to revisit an old favorite.   I can't tell you how much I had to fight the urge to toss in a little wine when I was cooking the sauce, but I was strong.  I did, however, add some oregano and a little roasted red pepper flakes to my Classico Sweet Basil Sauce (check out their website for a printable coupon!)

I hope that all of you moms out there have a similar recipe that you make for your families.  I'm sure you do.  Every kid loves spaghetti night!!!  My mom used vermicelli noodles instead of spaghetti, and I never knew the difference until I saw a box of it in her pantry once.  I opted for Barilla Plus Spaghetti which has extra protein and fiber and Omega 3s in it...okay, so it's not totally old school because of that, but you better believe that I'm gonna be topping mine with some powdered cheese!

Here's what I did...

Old School Spaghetti
1 jar of spaghetti sauce of your choice (I used Classico Sweet Basil)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 green pepper, minced
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 lb lean ground beef
1 tablespoon of dried oregano
1 box of spaghetti of your choice
Red pepper flakes (if desired)

Cook pasta according to the directions on the box.

In a skillet, cook beef, garlic, onion, and green pepper until the beef is browned and the vegetables are tender.  Meanwhile, in a large pot, heat sauce, tomatoes, oregano, and red pepper flakes (if desired) over low eat.  When the meat and vegetables are done, add them to the pot with the sauce and turn the heat up until it starts to bubble.  

Place spaghetti on a place and then top with sauce (and powdered cheese!!!)



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