Some days call for spaghetti. With some old school spaghetti sauce. This little gem comes from "Cook and Love It" which was published in 1976 by The Mother's Club of the Lovett School. I have no idea where this cookbook came from, as myself and most of my Lovett alumnae friends were not born in 1976. It garnered reviews such as "More good recipes than you can shake a stick at!" from Jean Thwaite, Food Editor at the Atlanta Constitution, and "It is the nicest cookbook I have ever seen!" from Mrs. Arlene Pirozzoli of North Canton, Ohio. Not to throw shade on Arlene, but it's a typical spiral bound self-published cookbook, so not exactly luxurious, but I digress.
I was intrigued by the inclusion of a pat of butter in Mrs. Goldstein's chopped meat sauce. I updated it a twinge for my taste, and garnered the following reviews over several makings: "This is really good. I'm getting seconds, do you want some more too?" from Mr. Morgan B. of Tennessee. "Da da da da!" from Deeds B., also of Tennessee. "All done with speggeti! I go play now!" from Miss Dell Harper B. of Tennessee.
Old School Spaghetti Sauce:
1 lb ground beef
1 lb Italian Sausage, out of casings (I used mild because of my audience pictured above)
1 T olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 medium onions, chopped
4 T minced Italian Parsley
1 lb sliced white mushrooms
I medium can tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce
1 can tomato paste
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
2-3 T chopped fresh basil (or 1 teaspoon dried)
4 bay leaves
1 T butter
Saute onion over medium hear in a large dutch oven in the olive oil, adding in the garlic and parsley after 3-4 minutes. Add the meat, and brown slowly- frequently stirring to really break up the ground meat.
Add the tomatoes, sauce and paste, salt and pepper and Italian seasoning. Cover pot, and simmer for about an hour.
Add basil and bay leaves and cook another 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in butter (so weird, I know, but trust me).
This makes a ton of spaghetti sauce- enough for a pound of pasta, plus enough to freeze for one to two more rounds.
Now for the double time-
In her Virgina Willis' excellent cookbook she talks about how calling something a "bake" makes it sound fancier than a casserole, but not too fancy, like a "gratin". So, if you are like us, about 1/2 a pound of pasta gets eaten, then you are eating leftovers for days. I love some leftover spaghetti, but I also love a full freezer. Enter Willis' Pasta Bolognese Bake.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and brush a casserole dish with oil. For a half recipe (8x8 pan) combine 4 cups of sauce with 8 ounces of cooked spaghetti. Add two large beaten eggs and stir to combine. (I then added 2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese, and topped with a handful). Transfer to prepared dish and bake for 30 minutes until set.
Deeds thoroughly enjoyed his first spaghetti experience. I forgot how baby-led weaning necessitates the need for a garbage disposal in the bathtub drain!