Sunday, February 14, 2010

One Skillet Spaghetti (world famous)

This is a one skillet spaghetti recipe that was passed on to me from my step-mother Rita (rest in peace Rita). It's been my favorite spaghetti recipe since I was 16. Since that time I've engineered/mutated it several dozen times until it is what it is today.

One such mutation was brought about by Rita's mother (Loretta). One Saturday afternoon she accidentally added picante sauce instead of tomato. Maybe she wasn't wearing her glasses or had suffered a slight bump to the noggin but it added such a wild flavor I've used it ever since. You wouldn't believe the looks I get from my Italian friends but if you know me, you know I'm a one way ticket to crazy town. I'm the type of guy that throws caution to the wind. An adventurer that only knows danger as a mild annoyance and fear as something read about on the back of Lucky Charm boxes. OK here's the recipe:


8oz ground beef
8oz Italian Sausage
1 medium onion, chopped
1 package (7oz) ready-cut spaghetti
1 can (14oz) diced tomatoes, don't drain
14oz Salsa (whatever temperature you want)
3/4 cup chopped green pepper

1/2 cup water (I eventually add more but it's guessing)
1 can (8 ounces) sliced mushrooms, drained
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese


I use a 12 inch 5qt skillet. It's the best size for stirring/moving all the ingredients around because it gets pretty messy in one pan. I've used smaller but it gets messier.

Brown the sausage, ground beef, and onions.

Drain the grease.

Add everything else minus the spaghetti and cheese.

Bring to a boil.

Turn the heat down to a simmer and add the noodles. I use about a hand full breaking the pasta in half when I add it.

Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes then start stirring about every 5 minutes.

Pay attention to the state of the noodles and the sauce they're "bathing" in, if it gets too dry in there it'll burn. Add water as necessary but don't over do it since you want a lasagna type consistency.

Once the noodles are finished (I prefer al dente) bring on the cheese.

Turn the heat off and cover. Let it sit long enough to let the cheese melt.


Have fun and add different heats of sausage, picante sauces, cheeses, and even pasta. One of my favorites was a tomato basil linguine. It took longer and I really had to watch the water but it tasted great.
The picture I included has mild and sharp cheddar plus an Italian 5 cheese blend I picked earlier from a local grocery store (Kroger).

Guys if you can perfect this dish for a date (or wife) she will love you. I cooked this for my wife the first time she came over and it's still her favorite dish.

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