Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Mr. C's Spaghetti

This my friend, is bachelor food. This is the one dish that a man makes for whoever he may be trying to impress this week. Well, the man in our house anyways. The "famous spaghetti" as it's known, has its origins in his parent's kitchen, many years ago. And now it has come to our kitchen.

Traditionally this pasta is served with "hockey pucks" aka cheesy garlic toast. In past, these are put into the oven just before dinner is ready so that they can go straight from the oven to the table. However, nine times out of ten someone forgets them in the oven and there is a mad dash to the oven halfway through dinner. Hence, looking like blackened little rounds: hockey pucks!

*1 pkg (3 sausages) Spolumbo's Sausage
*1 pkg ground beef (or bison etc)
*1 medium to large yellow onion
*1 medium to large red onion
*garlic (today, I used 7 cloves but make your judgement based on how much you <3 garlic and also bear in mind the public should you be interacting with anyone who didn't have the same thing for lunch as you!)
*basil, oregano, parsley, marjoram.... I tend not to measure these, but it was approximately 2 tbsp each, mix up your herbs should you choose
*2 fl oz Franks Red Hot Sauce or 1 fl oz of Sriracha (use a shot glass; adjust to your liking)
*2 tbsp sucanat or brown sugar
*1 jar Ragu or other store bought pasta sauce like this one
*1 540 ml can diced tomatoes (we used these ones this time)
*2 diced fresh tomatoes
*1 cup sliced mushrooms
*1 zucchini, sliced (we did half moons this time, but sometimes do coins- it's up to you)
*1 red, 1 yellow, and 1 green bell pepper, sliced into 1" strips

I want to stop here really quickly and talk about ground meat because it is something that we don't use often in our cooking. As you can see from this picture, in grocery stores the meat is dyed red to appeal to the consumers eye to appear 'fresh'. The ground beef we bought today is a product targeting individuals like myself who are looking for more 'natural' products. And while the majority of the meat products consumed in our house are organic, we have found it increasingly difficult to find sources of organic meats in the small city where we now live. We'll be stocking up at Christmas in Calgary.

So if you didn't already know, you ground beef is supposed to be 'grey' looking. This meat is completely raw out of the package- the burner hadn't even been turned on yet! Something else you may not know: What's really in your ground beef? 

Pasta choice for the tonight:

Cut sausages into 1" pieces, keeping casing in tact.
In a cast iron (or other frying) pan, thoroughly cook the sausage nuggets.
Meanwhile, in a large pot, begin browning the ground beef over med high heat.
Add in garlic, onion and herbs & any spices you may wish to add.
When beef is cooked, add Frank's, brown sugar, pasta sauce & diced tomatoes.
Once simmering, add in veggies & sausage "meatballs" into the pot.
Begin boiling water for pasta.
Stir in fresh tomatoes just a few minutes before serving
Serve atop pasta of your choice with Parmesan cheese & a bold red wine. 

Now this is one of those dishes that gets better with time. It can sit on the stove and simmer all day if you've got the time. In fact, that makes me want to cook it in a slow cooker next time. Let me know if you try this!


  1. looks awesome ... what amazing parents Mr. C must have.

  2. Hockey pucks you say? Sounds delicious. Yes, this is the one meal that is pulled out of the vault when it's "that parent's" turn to cook for guests. Very tasty, especially on a cold wintery day.