This is one of the first things Brad ever cooked for me....it is always fabulous! We've started a Valentine's Day tradition of cooking this spaghetti together, so it's only fitting that I include it in my blog....with Brad as my Guest Blogger! We served it with a side salad with a vinaigrette dressing and feta cheese, plus fresh French bread with seasoned dipping oil. We both love thick spaghetti sauce...if that's what you like, you'll LOVE this recipe! So, without further ado...here it is!
1 box uncooked spaghetti
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil (E.V.O.O.), plus 1 tbsp. E.V.O.O. for pasta
1 jar Ragu spaghetti sauce (we always get the garlic and onion flavored kind)
1 can tomato paste
1 can stewed tomatoes
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 tbsp. dried oregano
Garlic salt, to taste
Grated parmesan for seasoning
1 tbsp. butter
Drizzle E.V.O.O. in a skillet over medium heat. Take half of the bell pepper and half of the onion (reserving the other half for later) and add them to the skillet; saute for a few minutes or until bell pepper and onion are softened. Add garlic and saute for an additional 2 minutes or until garlic is fragrant. Add ground beef to the skillet and cook until no longer pink, gently breaking the meat apart as it cooks.
Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a boil and add pasta. Season the water with a generous amount of salt and 1 tbsp. of butter. Cook pasta until al dente.
In a separate large saucepan, pour contents of Ragu jar. Add tomato paste, stewed tomatoes, and the other half of the bell pepper and onion. When beef is completely cooked, drain if needed and then add to the spaghetti sauce mixture. Season with the oregano and garlic salt to taste. Let the sauce cook through for approximately 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
***The reason Brad sautes half of the bell pepper/onion and then adds the rest directly to the spaghetti sauce later is because it adds texture. You will end up with half soft, sauteed bell pepper/onion and half slighty crunchy bell pepper/onion. It adds a special yummy-ness!***
Pour pasta in a strainer and rinse with HOT water. Let drain. Brad hates runny pasta, so that is why he adds this step! Put drained pasta back into the pot. Drizzle with 1-2 tbsp. E.V.O.O. and sprinkle with oregano. Stir.
Put cooked pasta on a plate and top with a generous serving of the spaghetti sauce. Sprinkle with grated parmesan.
***We always mix the left-over pasta and sauce in a container and save it for the next day. It's even better the day after!***
Source: Brad W.
On a side note, Brad surprised me with the beautiful red, round 5 quart Le Creuset French Oven that I've been drooling over for weeks...lol...he also gave me the matching Le Creuset tea kettle. I was beyond excited! Here are some stock photos until I take a photo of mine...