When I’m not sure what to make for dinner, I go to my pantry and grab a box of spaghetti as my starting point. Spaghetti is something I always have in my pantry.
Add a bit of butter and Parmesan cheese, serve with garlic bread, and it’s an easy meal. But, it also serves as a delicious base for a sauce. Any of these five Blue Ribbon recipes will be delicious on top of a plate of spaghetti.
The seasonings in Jan’s Maw’s Spaghetti is perfect. “My grandma made this for us when we were growing up, and I’ve yet to find a homemade spaghetti sauce I like better,” explains Jan. “It is best after the flavors meld overnight.”
Like many sauces, the longer it sits the better it gets. I opted to add the eggplant and absolutely loved the additional texture it gives the sauce.
Jan uses a combination of ground beef and salt pork in her meat sauce. Salt pork is made from pork belly like bacon is but it’s not smoked. Fatty and salty, it makes a great base for frying the onions and garlic. This sauce can be made in under an hour which is handy if preparing a weeknight meal.
Now, on the other end of the spectrum is Kay’s All Day Spaghetti Sauce. It does indeed take all day to procure this delicious pasta topper, but worth the effort.
“For over 30 years I have been making spaghetti on the weekend for my family,” shares Kay. “Started simple when I was very young, and then my kids just fell in love with it. Gradually I modified it and developed a cooking method and recipe that always makes everyone go for seconds!”
Ground chuck is Kay’s meat of choice in this recipe. Once browned, it’s combined with tons of spices like basil, thyme, oregano, rosemary, and dried parsley. To say this sauce is flavorful is an understatement.
As the sauce reduces while cooking, the flavors intensify. Adding a hint of brown sugar is a trick to cut the acidity. As Kay suggests, this is a great rainy day recipe.
Another popular way to serve spaghetti is carbonara style. Carbonara is an Italian pasta dish made from pork (like pancetta or bacon), Parmesan cheese, black pepper, and fresh egg yolks. As the ingredients are tossed with hot spaghetti the eggs cook and create a creamy sauce.
“The first time I tasted this was at the gathering for my father’s funeral,” reveals Marcia. “Our Italian neighbors, the Businelli family, brought a huge bowl full and we were all very impressed with this very tasty dish. We had never heard of it before but it soon became a favorite.”
This carbonara is creamy, savory, and super-satisfying. The perfect date night dinner.
While bolognese is typically served over pasta like pappardelle, it’s just as delicious on spaghetti. While it includes meat like a meat sauce, carrots and celery are added to sweeten the recipe. Milk is also added which adds richness and makes bolognese a little creamier.
“Italian food is one of my favorites, and out of all the sauce recipes I have tried, this one is just on a level all its own,” says Amanda. “Rich and hearty, it’s everything a good Bolognese should be and more.”
Grab a glass of wine and stand by the stove. A good bolognese simmers for hours and has to be stirred occasionally so it doesn’t stick, but the outcome is heavenly. The ground beef and ground pork almost melt in your mouth when the sauce is done.
“A true Italian palate pleaser,” thinks Michael. “So simple to make and can be altered to anyone’s tastebuds.”
Panko crumbs form a lovely golden brown crust on the cube steaks. Michael suggests serving with spaghetti but you can really serve it with your favorite pasta. It may not be the prettiest plate when presented, but it sure is tasty. Serve with some garlic bread for a super yummy meal.
Get out that box of spaghetti and see what you can create for a dinner everyone will love. Make sure to share a link to your recipe below. Happy Pinching!