I do two versions of spaghetti at my house. Spaghetti and meatballs and then this version that I grew up eating at my grandma’s house. Every time I make this dish it takes me back home. The peppers, onion, and garlic perfume the entire kitchen. It’s comfort food at its finest and makes for awesome leftovers!
This recipe is all about the sauce. Here’s what you need.
1/2 Yellow Onion
2 Cloves of Garlic (minced)
1 Green Bell Pepper
1 lb. Lean Ground Beef
1 Small Can of Mushrooms
2 16 oz. cans of Petite Diced Tomatoes with Olive Oil and Garlic
1 16 oz. can of Tomato Sauce
2 T. of Tomato Paste
Handful of Fresh Basil
Salt, Pepper, and Italian Seasoning to taste
Heat a saute pan with 2 T. of Extra Virgin Olive Oil over medium heat. Finely dice the onion and cook it in the olive oil until the turn translucent. Dice and add the green bell pepper. Cook for a couple more minutes and then add the garlic and toss around with a wooden spoon for about 30 seconds.
Add the ground beef, break it up and cook through.
Add the mushrooms and cook for an additional minute or two.
Meanwhile, puree the diced tomatoes in a food processor with the handful of basil.
Add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and tomato paste.
Season with salt, pepper, and Italian season to taste and then turn your it down to low and let the sauce simmer while you cook your spaghetti.
Pasta Do’s and Don’ts
Cooking spaghetti or any pasta should be really easy, but I’ve seen it messed up time and time again. Follow these rules and you’ll get perfectly cooked pasta every time.
- Do Salt Your Water! (This flavors the pasta and salty, starchy pasta water and be used to thin a thick sauce out a bit. Be generous. I throw in a handful of Kosher Salt.)
- Do Not Add Oil to Your Water! (If you drain and serve the pasta right when it is done it won’t stick together. You don’t need the oil. It gives the noodles an odd oily coating you don’t want or need.)
- Do Not Rinse Your Pasta (This rinses off the starch and leaves you with watery noodles with a weird texture.)
- Do cook to Al Dente (Look on the back of the package and always follow the al dente directions. This creates noodles that are not too soggy and not too firm.)
When you have perfectly cooked spaghetti, top it with a generous portion of sauce, and top with with plenty of parmesan cheese!