It looks like spring is finally on its way. It’s supposed to hit the 60’s tomorrow and bring with it plenty of sunshine.

But we all know Wyoming is a fickle temptress. I can remember Easter holidays with a foot of snow and cold temps to go with it. It’s really no fun trying to find eggs when your parents footsteps lead to every single one.

At least the weather can be enjoyed until the next blizzard on the horizon arrives. You can save this recipe for the next cold snap or make it tomorrow; it’s just plain good.

I have always been a Italian food guy. Spending the extra time to make homemade spaghetti is time well spent in my opinion. It is also one of those foods I never order at a restaurant. It’s usually watery, kind of bland and not worth the price. And it’s one of those food items everyone has their specific way in doing.

My brother would make the noodles and sauce separately, then dump the sauce into the noodles and continue cooking for 10-15 minutes until it was this congealed mass of sauce and noodle.

My dad would give little thought to his noodles and spend all day getting his sauce just right, adding things to cut the acidity down and boosting the flavor as he went. Did he ever write down what he was doing? Nope. So of course it was different every time and just “Not as good as the first time I made it, can’t remember what I did,” he would say.

I, of course, take a whole different route with mine. It all comes down to the meat you put in with your sauce. It doesn’t matter if it’s sausage, ground beef or antelope… Take care of the meat and the spaghetti will follow.

For this recipe I used ground beef, but you can use any variety of ground game animal you’d like; it will be just as tasty. I like to cook the living heck out of it and get it to the point of not needing drained. I add paprika, dried onions and diced garlic to the ground beef right when it is turning brown, and it caramelizes all those flavors into the beef, giving each bite and extra POW of flavor. I also got fancy and used caserecci pasta. Costco sells it in a pack of six with two other varieties, and it is amazing.

I’m not usually and organics guy, but their organic pastas hit the spot. I think it has less to do with the organics label and more of the way it’s made. Not much more than the usual fare, and well worth it with every bite.

In any case, enjoy the weather and this tasty pasta dish!

 

Ground beef

1 pound ground beef

1 tablespoon paprika

2 teaspoons dried onion

2 teaspoons diced garlic

1. While browning ground beef, add paprika, onions and garlic and cook until well browned.

Pasta

1 package caserecci pasta

1. Cook according to directions on the bag.

 

Sauce (or just buy a jar of sauce and zip it up the way you like it, no one will judge)

4 large tomatoes or 6 small

2 cloves garlic

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 diced onion

1/3 cup minced baby bella mushrooms

1/2 cup minced red bell peppers

1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped or 2 tablespoons dried

1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped or 1/2 teaspoon dried

1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried

1 teaspoon oregano, fresh or 1/2 teaspoon dried

1 28 ounce can tomatoes

2 cans ounces tomato sauce

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 teaspoon kosher salt plus more to taste

1 bay leaf

2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

 

1. Heat an oven to 400 degrees and drizzle a little oil on a cookie sheet.

2. Slice the tomatoes in half and toss in the oil on the pan.

3. Add the garlic in it’s skins and toss in the oil.

4. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and bake for 20-30 minutes or until the tomatoes are wilted.

5. Press the garlic out of their papers, mince and set everything aside. Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat and add a drizzle of oil. Add the onions, bell peppers, mushrooms and garlic and stir with a wooden spoon until the onions begin to turn translucent.

6. Add the herbs and stir again to combine, allowing to cook for 30 seconds.

7. Add the tomatoes, canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, and tomato paste. Stir to combine and sprinkle with kosher salt evenly over the sauce.

8. Add the bay leaf, balsamic vinegar and Parmesan rind.

9. Stir to combine and allow to simmer for 3 hours or all day.

10. Before serving, remove the bay leaf and add ground beef.

 

You can add this all together and made one big pot of pasta and serve accordingly, which is what I do, or feel free to keep the sauce separate from the pasta and dish out that way. It’s your life. Do it how you want to, just make sure to enjoy it!