I love cooking on Fridays because to me it reminds me that it’s time to relax from a long work week (for my husband) and to eat what ever the heart so desires and enjoy. Plus it’s usually the time to entertain company if someone stops by or it can be just a time for you to enjoy your own company or just quality time for the family.
So on Friday’s while cooking my delicious simple meals I love to have music playing in the kitchen from my little boom box. Also the music I play cannot be just any kind of music but it has to be upbeat and cheerful enough to make me want sway, move my hips and snap my fingers to the beat while singing out loud to my hearts content.
I start getting things ready early on so that I am not exhausted from trying to do everything in one day if you know what I mean.
So the groceries are purchased and if the meats are already frozen its thawed on Wednesday’s. On Thursday’s the selected meats are soaked, tenderized, seasoned and/or marinated and any peeling or chopping of any vegetables and/or fruit are done then refrigerated overnight. So by the time Fridays here all that’s left to be done is the cooking.
First I like to have cold beverages like a couple of beers or a red cherry sweet wine for my husband to have so he gets to really wind down before his meal or I will mix up a rum and coke or Pina Colada or some other delicious alcoholic beverage for him. I prefer to drink the non- alcoholic drinks like maybe I will have a Pina Colada but without the alcohol. So…….
On this week’s menu is a delicious Italian Spaghetti dish to prepare.
I tell you that we are tomato based loving people. We love our foods that have a tomato-y base like tasty lasagna, cheese Ziti, meat ravioli and spaghetti.
There are a lot of steps for my Italian spaghetti dish and so it requires some attention while cooking and there’s the browning of the meats and vegetables to be done before putting everything together in one meat sauce pot. My mom used to cook Italian Spaghetti this way and so I am willing to stick to her recipe because we love it so much. So I am willing to go through all of the trouble for good taste.
I usually make enough food so as to last for the entire weekend (6-8 servings) then by Monday it’s mostly all gone so I have to add a hot steamed vegetable like broccoli and a baked or grilled chicken to go with the remainder of the spaghetti if any is left.
ITALIAN SPAGHETTI RECIPE
Meat Sauce Ingredients:
8 Large Hot, Mild or Sweet Johnson’s Italian sausages (browned)
1 ½ pound of ground beef or ground turkey (browned)
1-24 oz. jar of Ragu Spaghetti Sauce and/or 10 fresh large peeled & diced plum tomatoes
1-28 oz. can of Red pack or Hunts stewed whole plum tomatoes
1-6 oz. can of organic tomato paste or 1 cup of ketchup
1- 2 cups water
2 cups olive oil
1-3 medium sized onions (peeled & diced)
1 large green bell pepper (cored & chopped)
½ large red bell pepper (cored & chopped)
8-10 garlic cloves (smashed, peeled then chopped)
2 Tablespoon each of
Dried basil (crushed)
Dried oregano (crushed)
1 Tablespoon each of
Italian seasoning (without salt)
Parsley leaves (crushed)
½ Tablespoon Sea salt
3- 4 Tablespoons of sugar
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 bay leaves
½-1 16 oz. box Angel hair pasta (with half pot of boiling water)
1 teaspoon salt
Cookware and Utensils
1- 6-10 Qt. meat sauce pot
2- 14 inch skillets
1- 3-5 Qt. pasta pan
1 Large Serving Pasta Plate
1 Large Meat Sauce bowl
1- Chop all the onions, garlic and peppers put aside separately.
2- Pour in the ketchup and/or the can of stewed plum tomatoes and cut tomatoes into small pieces and add the tomato juice in the can and pour into the meat sauce pot.
3- Next pour in the jar of spaghetti sauce and/or the fresh peeled and chopped plum tomatoes.
4- Pour the can of tomato paste in a skillet with 2 Tablespoons olive oil. Constantly stirring the paste until nice and hot but don’t let it burn, then add 1/ 2 cup of water to it and bring to a boil then pour the paste sauce into the meat sauce pot too.
5- Add 1/2 cup olive oil into skillet and on medium heat and cook the ground beef or ground turkey just long enough to brown it. (do not overcook)
6- Add 1/2 cup olive oil in second skillet on medium heat and cook the sausages just enough to brown them. (Do not overcook)
*If you want the sauce hot and spicy buy the hot sausages or if you want your sauce mild and sweet use mild or sweet sausages. But the hot sausages really make the sauce hot.*
7- Add both the sausages and ground beef into the large meat sauce pot.
8- Then pour 1/2 cup olive oil into the skillet and brown the green and red bell peppers first then spoon out the peppers and add to the meat sauce pot. Save left over oil to be used to brown the onions.
9- Add the onions into skillet with the remainder saved olive oil and brown then pour into meat sauce pot.
10- Add 1 cup of water to the meat sauce pot. You can gradually add more water if you feel the sauce is too thick for your liking but to be careful with it because you don’t want your sauce too watery either.
11- Pour in all the spices except the parsley, mix all the ingredients and bring pot to a boil then turn down to a medium or low heat.
12- Let the meat sauce cook on low heat for up to one hour.
(but you will have to keep stirring the pot every 10 to fifteen minutes so the sauce won’t settle to the bottom and the water and oil rise to the top of the pot causing the sauce to get stuck and burn)
*When sauce is done don’t forget to remove the bay leaves! * LOL!
1- Fill pasta pot halfway with water and bring to boil, add 1 teaspoon of salt, ½ cup of olive oil then dried parsley to the boiling water.
2- Then break in half the angel hair pasta and put into boiling water and let it continue to boil for three (3) minutes using a fork to stir and separate to keep the pasta from sticking together.
3- Then turn off heat and cover the pot with lid and let the pasta continue to cook by allowing it to sit in the boiling water.
*Later you will see that all of the water has been absorbed by the pasta and it is cooked perfectly and not under of over cooked*
You can make it even more special by setting a nice table with a clean white table cloth and serve the meal on a pretty pasta plate and put the meat sauce and sausages in a pretty serving bowl with dipper and fork.
Or go ahead and make each individual plate on some of your best pretty dinner plates. Put first the spaghetti then pour some of the tomatoe-y sauce over the spaghetti and top each plate with one sausage.
*Lastly you can sprinkle ½ teaspoon of parmesan cheese or grated cheddar or whatever cheese you like on top of each plate, but I prefer the lightness of the parmesan cheese.*
Serve meal with icy cold beverages like glasses of sweet tea, or juice or soda and add a simple pre packaged spinach salad on the side and some hot crusty garlic bread or crusty French or Italian loaf bread because Italian Spaghetti must have crusty bread….LOL!
I guarantee that your feet and toes will definitely curl with delight all weekend long! LOL!