Spaghetti is loved by almost everyone. Making a good spaghetti sauce is not hard and a lot cheaper than buying the jar varieties. ( A great recipe for the spaghetti sauce that I developed over years of tasting and testing is featured with the Spaghetti Pie recipe, post #41). If you don't have time to make your own sauce or just don't feel inspired to even try to make your own, store shelves are stocked with canned varieties. Some taste terrible...others are great...one of the good ones is listed in today's recipe.
In the summer, spaghetti is not a food choice on my menu...I just don't crave all those carbs. I did, however, discover a spectacular soup that is a light, fragrant and healthy cousin to the much heavier spaghetti. The list of ingredients seems lengthy, but most people should have them on hand...and it is a good way to use up some of those stock vegetables languishing in those crisper drawers.
The key to making this soup wonderful is to use, as always, the best ingredients. I have tried several types of pasta sauces and the one listed below is perfect! Just add a few more seasonings and your soup will taste just the way it is supposed to. This is a wonderful, one-pot meal...great for summer lunches or dinners.
1-2 T olive oil
1 lb. lean ground beef
½ C chopped sweet onion
1/2 small green pepper, chopped
½ C chopped celery (1 stalk)
1 med. carrot, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 ½ C water
2- 14 ½ oz cans diced tomatoes
1- 13-15 oz jar Newman's Own Tomato-Basil pasta sauce
1 T sugar
½ tsp dried Italian seasoning, crushed
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
2 oz dried spaghetti, broken into 2 inch pieces
Parmesan cheese, grated
In a large Dutch oven, on med-high heat add olive oil. When hot, add next 6 ingredients and stir-fry until veg. are tender and meat browned. (Meat should not be gray...the flavor comes from the browning process). Drain off fat.
Add water and remaining ingredients except pasta. Bring to a boil and add broken pasta. Return to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered for 12-15 minutes or until pasta is tender. Serve immediately. 6 servings.