Spaghetti! Here is another one of those marvellous foods that has received such bad press because of the -gasp! – carbohydrates. But trust me, spaghetti, especially when you serve it with a nice green salad, is a wonderful and balanced meal that can turn your everyday dinner into a 5-star experience. And for the health conscious, let me just remind you that doctors highly recommend a mediterranean diet, complete with healthy carbs and healthy fats, all in moderation.
I am a snob when it comes to spaghetti and I don’t settle for opening a jar of sauce and heating it up, no matter how good the sauce is supposed to be. I insist on doing some work and the end result is worth it and should I have leftovers my guests ask to take them home!
Word to the wise: I am pretty sure there are as many recipes for spaghetti out there as there are cooks, and yes I do claim my recipe tastes fantastic. My source? Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim, of Jung SuWon, of course.
For the sauce, I use a generous amount of ground beef, and boil and rinse before I use it. Once dried, I roast that in olive oil with chopped garlic and if you like, put in a little finely chopped pastrami, or some smoked meat. Roast that in the final cooking pan and once its nicely browned, set aside.
In flat pan, heat olive oil, add chopped onions, and sautee until yellow, then add a generous amount of sliced mushrooms. Sautee until the juices are almost all gone. Add to the meat. In the same pan you used to cook the onions, heat more olive oil, and put in a bunch of cut up tomatoes, some green and red bell peppers, finely chopped fresh basil, parsley, and add some fresh thyme. When the juice of the tomatoes has cooked down, add to the meat mixture, mix well together, and add some red wine. Cook until reduced and then add some tomatoe sauce from a jar. Newman’s is good, but any other good quality sauce will work.
I typically don’t add any more salt, but go ahead and add to your liking. Cook for at least an hour, on very low heat, or you can cook for several, it will only improve the taste. However, you need to stir frequently to prevent burning.
I am not good at giving exact quantities as you might have guessed by now, but if you have any idea about cooking you’ll catch on very quickly.
As for the noodles, use whatever shape you like. Lately I have fallen in love with whole wheat pasta and I cook that and sautee in olive oil where I have browned some chopped garlic, and mix in some fresh basil, finely chopped. Mix well and use that as base for your outstanding sauce.
Now sit down and enjoy. Part of the mediterranean diet is to take your time to eat and enjoy. For the Jung SuWon warriors among us, this is a great dish to make ahead for after class. You can make it the night before, or the same day – make the sauce, and boil the noodles. While you shower after class, start heating the sauce and then quickly sautee the noodes, or you could conceivably skip that step.
Enjoy, without guilt! You worked it off before you ate it!