Flying Spaghetti Monster…though without flying or monsters.

20 Nov

This is a cross between my mother’s spaghetti, which is based on jarred sauce doctored with wine and dried herbs, and the much more elaborate recipe from The Kitchen Diaries by Nigel Slater.

Nigel’s recipe is delicious, but sometimes life is too short, and I am too hungry, to finely chop vegetables and fresh herbs to make a sofrito. The milk and stock give the sauce body and keep it from tasting too acidic. Easy to shop for, easy to cook, and very comforting.

Spag Bol (with thanks to Mom and Nigel Slater)

Serves 4

1 onion, coarsely chopped
3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
1 heaped teaspoon dried Italian herbs (you could finely chop some fresh thyme and rosemary, but I honestly can’t tell the difference)
500g beef mince
250 ml beef stock
100 ml red wine (ideally from a bottle of something you’d actually drink)
500 g passata (GB)/tomato sauce (USA)
100 ml full fat/whole milk
250g spaghetti
100g Parmesan or Grana Padano, grated

Warm the olive oil over medium heat in either a saucepan or a frying pan with tall, steep sides.

Add the onion, fry for 7 or 8 minutes, or until soft.

Stir in the garlic and the herbs, cook for 1 minute.

Add the beef and fry until the meat is no longer pink.

Add in the stock, wine, and passata. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes. Season it with salt and pepper to taste.

After the sauce has been cooking for 15 minutes, boil two litres of water in a saucepan with two teaspoons of salt added in, then add the spaghetti and cook following the package directions.

After the sauce has been cooking for 20 minutes, add the milk and cook for another 7-8 minutes.

Mix the cooked pasta into the sauce, then dish out and serve with cheese.


2 Responses to “Flying Spaghetti Monster…though without flying or monsters.”

  1. Kate December 25, 2010 at 9:22 AM #

    For some reason, I only recently learned to add red wine to spag. And apparently its not supposed to be 2buck chuck… Wonders will never cease. BTW, no mushrooms?

  2. tomatoesandradiowire December 25, 2010 at 8:44 PM #

    No mushrooms because Tom won’t eat them. If you were to put them in, you should add them when I add the meat to the pan. You’ll probably want to add a little more oil so they don’t suck all the moisture from the pan.

    Also, is there such a thing as mushroom flavored broth? The thing about adding the beef stock is that it helps round out the flavors and prevents the acidity of the tomatoes being too dominant. If you were doing a vegan version, I would think just using plain vegetable stock wouldn’t add a deep enough note in the sauce. Maybe 50-50 mushroom and vegetable?

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