Recently while putting together our menu planner and subsequent shopping list, I asked Hubby what he wanted for dinner. While I had most of the coming week planned out, there were a couple of holes that needed to be filled. On those rare occasions when I can’t make up my mind, I like to get a little input from the menfolk.
Hubby thought for a moment, then pointed out that we haven’t had spaghetti – plain old fashion, simple spaghetti – in a while. Cooking spaghetti in a crock pot is nothing new. So imagine my surprise when I discovered that I didn’t have a recipe for Crock Pot Spaghetti saved in my online cookbooks. Now mind you, I’m not suggesting that I cannot make a pot of spaghetti without a recipe to guide me. However; I like Yumprint for creating a shopping list. It’s simple – you just drop your planned recipes from your saved cookbooks into the grocery list and bam – there’s your list. Crock Pot Spaghetti wasn’t in any of my books. It’s just one of those things you make without thinking about it.
My dad is a great one for making Crock Pot Spaghetti. He will let it simmer until there is very little sauce and a ton of meat. Dad is also extremely heavy-handed with the salt. I never seem to get my spaghetti sauce salty enough for Pops. Another thing Dad insists upon is keeping the spaghetti sauce and the spaghetti noodles separate, mixing the two on his plate. It’s one of the reasons he does not like to order spaghetti in a restaurant. I don’t care one way or the other. When feeding a crowd, it’s easier to mix it all together. Serving family style, and it’s just as easy to combine as it is to serve separately. When it comes to left-overs (when there are any), we’ll mix it all together in a gallon zip-lock bag and toss it in the fridge or freezer for later.
Growing up, Mom made a great spaghetti sauce. She cooked hers up in a cast iron skillet, over low heat and tended to it all day. Cast iron cooking gives everything an extra something in the flavor department, don’t you think?
Crock Pot Spaghetti – Family Style
2 lbs ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 Jar Spaghetti Sauce, any kind
1 can Tomatoes, Italian Style
1/2 tablespoon roasted garlic
Salt & Pepper to Taste
1/4 Cup Red Wine
1 lb Spaghetti Noodles
Heat olive oil in a cast iron skillet. Cook chopped onions until soft, about 5 minutes. Add ground beef and cook until browned, breaking meat up as it cooks.
Drain meat well. Place into crock pot. Pour spaghetti sauce over meat. Mix in roasted garlic, Italian Tomatoes and wine. Stir to blend.
Cover and cook on LOW 8 hours. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta al dente. Make sure the water is at a full, rapid boil and well-salted before adding your noodles. Stir often and maintain a nice, dancing boil to prevent pasta from sticking together. Also, the sooner the sauce is mixed with the pasta, the better. If you have enough sauce, add some to the pasta immediately after draining. It will make serving the pasta easier.
Place pasta on plates, top with spaghetti sauce and serve.
One final note, on a personal level, today is The Feast of the Most Holy Name of Mary. To the Marys and Marias everywhere, I wish you well.