Minty Spaghetti

Feeling a bit whimsical today. And better lighting.

Dress: H&M (thanks, sis - worn here before)
Sweater: Mossimo by Target cropped cotton
Belt: Anthropologie Infinity (worn a million times over)
Shoes: Kenneth Cole Reaction Pine-A-Colada (worn a million +1 times over)

Thanks for the good comments about the Texas Spaghetti. I actually never heard of the dish until my BF (who went to college in TX) cooked it for me a while ago - since then we have it on fairly regular rotation (once every couple of weeks because we always make TONS) and I've been the one making it (BF says I make it better than he does - true comment, or is he just getting himself out of having to cook? Hm).

I don't know how "Texas" this actually is, since to me, it's just a kind of amped up meat sauce. I actually thought the name was made up until I Googled it today, but Texas Spaghetti actually exists - in about two million variations. Here's a rough recipe for the dish as I know it - great thing about this is that you can pretty much add what you want to taste. And yes, I make it a little different every time ...

Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble ...

"Texas" Spaghetti (loose recipe)
1 green pepper chopped
1 lb ground beef
1/2 large onion chopped (or 1 medium chopped)
5 cloves garlic chopped
1bx spaghetti
2 jars spaghetti sauce
Chili powder
Cayenne pepper
Black pepper
Bay leaf
1 jalapeno chopped (optional if you like your sauce extra kicky)
Other options: fresh chopped basil, sprinkle of nutmeg, dash of cinnamon, chopped rosemary
  1. Saute all the onions and peppers in olive oil until softened, about 5 min. (make sure the pan will be large enough to accommodate the sauce later on)
  2. Add garlic to the mix and saute another 3-4 min.
  3. Sprinkle in some pepper and chili powder
  4. Add ground beef to the mix and saute until all the meat is cooked through, about 5-7 min.
  5. Add bay leaf, tiny dash of cinnamon (if you like it), and about 1/2 tsp each cayenne pepper and chili powder
  6. Add in first jar of sauce and mix in - let simmer for about 10 min, stirring occassionally
  7. While sauce is simmering, cook the pasta to the directions on the box
  8. After 10 min, add in about 1/2 the second jar of sauce and let simmer a few more minutes - add pepper, salt and other seasonings to taste
  9. Reserve about 1/2 C the pasta water - drain the pasta and put back into cooking pot
  10. Spoon the sauce over the pasta and mix in well - add dashes of the reserved pasta water and the uncooked sauce if things are looking a little thick
  11. Cover the pot, flame off, and let sit for about 5-10 min. to let the pasta suck up the good sauce
Makes enough to feed 4-6, depending on how hungry you are. I usually serve mine with some garlic bread and a simple salad - and I always have a ton of extra sauce, so that can be served on the side in case others want a bit more. And don't worry about over-cooking the sauce as long as you have it on simmer - the time just lets all the spices and ingredients blend in flavor (look at me sounding like I know what I'm talking about - ha ha).

The finished pasta in pot. Saucy goodness - def not authentic Italian.

Tonight's dinner is going to be a "doozy" - grilled hot dogs with fresh corn, beans, salad, assorted chips. What can I say, BF and I are addicted to the Ball Park brand Angus beef hot dogs - soooooo good, for reals.  :o)