Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Simply Spaghetti

I love spaghetti.  The simplicity of the flavors.  The texture of the pasta.  The stretch of the melted mozzarella cheese, which is a must have with spaghetti.  All of this equals love to me.  Spaghetti is my ultimate comfort food.  My mom used to make it all the time for me as a child and now, ironically, I make it all the time for her since we work together...lol.

I've always wanted to do one of those photo step-by-step recipe posts, but never got the chance.  So the last time that I cooked up a batch of spaghetti I made sure that I took pictures.  Here it goes...

Spaghetti a la Arielle

2 (15-16oz) cans of diced tomatoes; 1 can tomato paste (I like my sauce on the thicker side, so I add it to thicken things up.  If you don't, then just omit it.); 1 can olives, sliced.
2 (15-16oz) cans of tomato sauce.  
(Yes, this is the giant can of tomato sauce from Costco.  It's something like 106 oz...lol.  It's cheaper to buy the huge can than a bunch of little cans, especially when I cook like 4 batches of spaghetti at once.  Who would eat all that spaghetti, you ask?  The kids at my mom's daycare.  They can pound some spaghetti like nobody's business.  I usually cook a huge batch once a month and freeze it in quart sized bags.  That way I can bust it out whenever they ask me for it.)
1 medium round onion, chopped; 6 cloves of garlic, minced; 1 bell pepper, chopped; 4 teaspoons of Italian seasoning 
Spinach (whatever amount you deem appropriate), chopped; 1 tray of mushrooms (not pictured because I forgot to take a picture of it...oops.), sliced
1 package mild Italian sausage sliced and quickly browned (to keep it from falling apart in the sauce while simmering later on)...
then removed before being fully cooked.  Don't worry it'll get thrown back into the mix in a minute.
1 pound ground turkey, browned.
Once the turkey meat is browned add the sausage into the pot.  Stir them together, so that they can become better acquainted with one another.
Add in the onion, garlic, bell pepper, and the Italian seasoning.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cook over low to medium heat until the onion and bell pepper are soft.  (I have found that adding the seasoning, salt, and pepper at this point helps to flavor the turkey a little bit.)
Add in tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, and tomato paste.  Stir to incorporate.  Simmer for a bit while you finish chopping the spinach (Am I the only one that doesn't remember all the ingredients that I needed to prep?  I always forget one and end up frantically chopping something every time that I make this...lol.)  Add in the chopped spinach.  Simmer until the spinach cooks down a bit, about 5 minutes or so.  Then add in the sliced mushrooms and olives.
Your spaghetti sauce should look like this, at this point.  Taste it and adjust the seasonings as needed.  Start boiling the water to cook your pasta in.  (Whole wheat noodles are a staple in my house.  Yum!) Simmer until your noodles are done and you are ready to serve it.

*Note:  This spaghetti sauce freezes well.  So make a huge batch and freeze it like I do.  Then you'll have pre-made sauce for spaghetti, or lasagna, or baked spaghetti.  Mmmm...I love spaghetti.  Did I say that already?

You can't screw up spaghetti, so don't be afraid.  Well, if you burn it that would be bad.  Don't burn it!  If you do, quickly pour it into a new pot, being careful to avoid scraping any of the burnt part off from the original pot.  Usually doing that will save a burnt dish, but please try your hardest to avoid that.

Also, don't over salt it.  I did that once because I didn't feel like tasting the sauce and I forgot how salty olives can be.  Let's just say my husband was none too pleased...lol.  He ate it, but with a lot more noodles than normal.  I guess to combat an over salted pot of spaghetti you can always add more tomato sauce and Italian seasoning, but your sauce will just be less meaty and thick.  Learn from me people...lol.

Spaghetti, to be eaten correctly, must be topped with melted mozzarella cheese and served with a side of warm garlic bread.  If not, then it's not spaghetti.  It's just sad noodles in a bowl...lol.

Happy hump day y'all!

PS.  My birthday is in 9 more days!  Yes, the count down is starting already. :)

4 comments:

  1. You are a Sagittarius [sagittarius horoscope ], no wonder you love cooking! Thanks for showing how to cook spaghetti! looks super yummy!

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  2. Thanks Linda! Your horoscope link totally pegged me to a T...lol. What can I say? I'm a Sagittarius to the core. :)

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  3. wow that looks gooooooddd :):!! I cant wait to try it!

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  4. Yay! Let me know how it goes.

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