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Friday, March 28, 2014

Yaya's Spaghetti (updated)

I was planning on posting the new recipe last night but I was so worn out I just passed out as soon as Bailey was in bed and the kitchen was clean. Plus, when I thought about it I realized that I had never done a proper post for Yaya's spaghetti recipe. The first time I posted the recipe I did not have a decent camera, only my iPod which takes terrible pictures. (Truthfully my new Windows phone takes better pictures than my Canon does).

Since I was already making spaghetti Wednesday night I just popped the memory card into the camera and snapped a few photos for a new post.

This is one of my favorite recipes ever. It doesn't matter if I make it or if Yaya does, it is always delicious. It is 100% Yaya original. She came up with it years ago. I've been eating this spaghetti most of my life and it is almost always requested for one birthday or another every year. This year Aaron and his dad both requested it, two years ago I requested it, and the year before that my brother did.

I think what makes this recipe special for me is the sausage. Most people make their spaghetti sauce with ground beef, but not my family. With just the right amount of spices and no added sugar the sauce is perfectly balanced.

Spaghetti is a cheap meal and feeds a crowd. This recipe would feed 3-4 hungry adults (well, only 2 if my brother is one of them) but you could easily double all of the ingredients except the sausage and feed 6-8 people. I know from experience.

Yaya's Spaghetti

Source: Family Recipe

1 lb sausage (I usually use mild breakfast sausage but you can use hot or even Italian sausage)
1 medium onion, finely chopped (or substitute 1/4 tsp onion powder)
1/2 green bell pepper, finely chopped (optional)
2-3 cloves garlic, minced (or substitute 1/4 tsp garlic powder)
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (15 oz) can crushed tomatoes
1 can sliced mushrooms (optional)
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper (this is actually a bit much for some people so use your own judgement)
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1 bay leaf (I used 2 this time because they were small)
1 lb freshly cooked spaghetti, angel hair, or linguine (I prefer the linguine)

Begin by browning your sausage over medium heat in a medium saucepan.

While it's browning combine the paprika, basil, oregano, salt, pepper, and bay leaf (and the optional garlic powder, onion powder, and crushed red pepper flakes) in a small bowl and mix them together.

When the meat is cooked through and no longer pink add the onion and bell pepper and cook until they begin to soften, about 3-5 minutes. (I left out this step because Aaron doesn't like onions or bell peppers).

Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add the tomato paste and stir into the sausage.

Adding the tomato paste by itself makes it easier to mix it in smoothly.

Now add the tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, mushrooms, and spice mixture and stir to combine. Bring the sauce to a simmer and reduce the heat to low. Cover and let simmer for at least twenty minutes or until the pasta is ready.

Serve over freshly cooked pasta with some Parmesan cheese on top (or if you're in a cheesy mood you can melt some mozzarella over it!) and some garlic toast and a salad.

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