I Cooked: Spaghetti

Spaghetti was one of the first evening meals I ever learned how to cook.  Of course, as a child I wasn’t allowed to cut any vegetables but I could choose which ones to use.  I’d watch eagerly as my mother would chop the ones I’d chosen.  My eyes would tear up along side hers as she’d cut the onion.  I loved watching her do the prep work because I knew I’d get to do the “cooking.”

Mom would put a big pot under the faucet so that I could fill it up with water and add some salt for the noodles.  Then she’d bring it over to the stove and allow me to turn on the burner.  I got to pull the biggest pan out of the cabinet and start the fire under it as well.

When the pan was hot enough, mom would add the ground beef and salt and pepper.  She’d let me break it up with a wooden spoon until the meat was browned.  The onion would be added next and cooked in the fat rendered from the beef.  I got to stir that too.  Then we would dump the meat and onion mixture onto a plate with paper towels to drain it before adding it back to the pan along with the rest of the vegetables.  Usually the veggies would only be celery and bell pepper, but sometimes we’d add a carrot or broccoli to spice things up.

A can of diced tomatoes, another can of stewed tomatoes, a can of tomato sauce and one of tomato paste found their way into the pan too.  Then we would open a bottle of wine and dump some in.  Finally the spices… all dried because we never had fresh: garlic, oregano, basil and thyme.  After a bit of simmering our mixture was ready.  I always got to stir.

Today, I continue follow almost the exact same method and recipe that I learned as a child.  It brings back comforting memories and is a great way to feed an army with about a pound of ground beef.  This recipe makes enough for me and DH to have dinner for two nights, plus extra to freeze… maybe six or seven servings.  It’ll go even further if you add salad and garlic bread to accessorize.


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 onion
  • 3 stalks celery
  • A couple of scoops of garlic from the jar
  • 14 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 14 oz can stewed sliced tomatoes
  • small can tomato sauce
  • small can tomato paste
  • Wine (red or white) pour around the pan a couple of times
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Dried basil, oregano and thyme – sprinkled on top
  • About a pound of spaghetti or other noodles, cooked according to package directions

Directions: See intro – seriously!


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