Friday, June 03, 2011

June 3- June's Skillet Spaghetti... gone wrong... or did it?
Or how Gram helped me invent the world's most perfect food for teenagers, by accident!

Day 3 of "30 Days of June" and I'm already tired!

I like this recipe because you cook the noodles with the sauce, which makes the pasta tastier.

1 lb. ground beef
1 c. chopped onion
3-4 garlic cloves (I added a few for good measure)
8 oz. can tomato sauce
6 oz. can tomato paste
1 1/2 c. water
1 pint tomato juice

2 tsp. chili powder
1 1/2 tsp. salt
dashof pepper
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. oregano
7-8 oz package of elbow pasta (not spaghetti, like the recipe book says, unless you want a teenage-friendly food that's blob-like... which is what I ended up with)
onion and green pepper rings
Parmesan cheese

In an electric frypan, (or a large pot) combine beef, onion, garlic, tomato sauce, paste and juice; the water, sugar and spices. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Simmer 30 minutes. Add elbow pasta, stir to seperate and simmer till pasta is tender. Stir frequently! Add onion and pepper runfs the last 5 minutes. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese to the top!

Guess What!!? I discovered the perfect dish for teens: Grandma's Skillet Spaghetti gone wrong. Here's why. I was trying to make a lovely classic spaghetti dish for a group of four adults and two teens, but what turned out instead was like something out of the movie Attack of the Killer Tomatoes Really!

Okay, so maybe Gram was trying to inject a little humor into my latest episode of "Granddaughter Tries to Channel Dead Grandmother's Cooking Prowess," but I tell you, the whole thing was a bit horrifying at moments.

Here's the deal: Her recipe called for SPAGHETTI with the word (ELBOW) in parenthesis. I remember standing in the pasta aisle of the store and thinking... "Surely Gram wouldn't write Spaghetti if she really meant elbow pasta??" So I opted for spaghetti noodles.

It wasn't until I started dumping noodles south in the saucy pot and watching them hang onto each other like frightened skinny people in a tidal wave, that I realized Gram had probably meant Elbow pasta.

My two friends who cheered me on when cooking, who were a bit older, in their 50's, said, "You know they used to call every pasta spaghetti, that's just what they did, they didn't have a 100 varieties like spinach bowtie to choose from, so she probably did mean elbow."

But it was too late, my perfect tasting sauce was filled with half-cooked spaghetti clumping together. And THIS WAS THE MAIN COURSE! The table was set and I was freaking out, thinking, "there's no way I'm serving this stuff!"

Joanne encoarged me and so did a new friend named Catherine, who's a whiz in the kitchen. She said, "Add some more liquid, stir, and just WAIT... it will be okay!"

Cathy, who bakes Huckleberry pies in a single bound. Love her for keeping me sane during the Attack of the Killer Spaghetti Crisis!

She kept telling me to "wait," A lesson that I have a hard time with. I'm soo impatient!

So I waited, waited and waited, adding more tomato sauce. What we wound up with was spaghetti on steroids: a muscular mass of noodles and sauce which didn't look so pretty, but actually tasted yummy like gourmet Chef Boyaredee and which the teenagers and men lapped up like hungry dogs.

Here's the cute little family, the Schultices, who I cooked spaghetti.... er, pasta for.

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