Over A Cup of Coffee: A delicious and easy spaghetti recipe

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The holiday is over, and at our house that means getting back into a work schedule. It also means cooking weekday meals, mostly casseroles and soups, that are good reheated as leftovers.

This week I made the easiest spaghetti dish ever. To make it you'll need a deep skillet with a lid. I used a soup pot.

Begin making "Easy Spaghetti" by browning a pound of ground beef (or 3/4 pound ground beef and 1/4 cup bulk sausage) with 1/4 cup chopped onion. Drain.

Add a 14.5-ounce can of diced Italian-style tomatoes, the tomato can of water, 2 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. I added another 1/4 teaspoon of oregano leaves, even though the tomatoes already had some.

Stir the mixture and bring it to a boil. Add 2 cups of uncooked, thin spaghetti that you've broken up. Cover, reduce the heat, and cook the spaghetti until it's done. It takes about 15 minutes but longer if you use spaghetti of "regular" thickness. Stir occasionally.

That's it. You need just one pot, too.

I featured a recipe for tamale pie in this column awhile back. "Fiesta Tamale Pie" is another from my file that calls for a few different ingredients than the first one.

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Then, saute a small onion and a clove of garlic, both of which have been minced, in 1 tablespoon of fat. Cook until yellow. Then add and brown a pound of ground beef and 1/4 pound pork sausage. Pour off the fat.

Add 1 pound can of diced tomatoes, 1 pound can of whole kernel corn (drained), 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder. Stir. Bring to a boil.

Pour the mixture into a 13 by 9-inch baking dish. Press 18 pitted, ripe olives into the mixture. I have no idea why the number or why the olives aren't cut up. If I had my way, I wouldn't eat olives.

To make the casserole topper, combine in a small bowl:

  • 1 cup of cornmeal -- I use yellow)
  • 1 cup of milk
  • and 2 eggs that have been well-beaten.

Spoon the cornmeal over the filling in the casserole. Sprinkle 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese over the top (optional). Bake for 1 hour.

Each of these casseroles makes a meal when served with a green salad and warm garlic bread. Do you have favorite recipes for casseroles (or anything else)? I'd love to hear from you. Call me at 824-8809 or send recipes to me at Box 415, Craig 81626.

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