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Adventure Spaghetti - Phil's Rambling Rants
September 7th, 2006
07:31 pm

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Adventure Spaghetti
Last night, Meijer had this deal where "all squash" was 3 lbs./$1.  Included in a pile of mixed squash under one of these signs was yellow summer squash so I picked up a couple decent sized ones, and then started trying to decide what I'd do with it.  I drew some inspiration from a can of spinach that's been sitting in the cupboard for a long time, and then decided to go with tomatoes and tomato sauce.  Ground beef seemed the most appropriate meat.  As I drove home, the final elements of the plan came together in my head with the decision to use tomatoes with green chilis, and to put it over spaghetti instead of my usual rice or sometime macaroni.

~¾ lb. 90% lean ground beef
2 medium-large yellow summer squash (big for store-bought, not whale-sized)
1 15 oz. can spinach (no salt)
1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes with green chilis
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce (no salt)
~2 T chopped onion
~1 t minced garlic
~½ t cinnamon
pinch of oregano
salt to taste
cooking oil
water

Cut squash into thin slices with food processor.  Begin browning ground beef in enough cooking oil to keep it from sticking to where there's only a wistful memory of teflon on the skillet.  While stirring beef, add onion, oregano, garlic, and (when the beef is maybe halfway cooked) squash.  Stir over high heat until squash wilts significantly and beef is well cooked.  (About now is time to start boiling the water for the spaghetti.)  Add spinach, tomatoes, and tomato sauce, and a little water.  Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, adding water if it dries out and turning heat up if it's too soupy.

Serve over spaghetti.  Parmesan cheese would probably be good on top, but I don't stock it, so I can't say for sure.  Not the best dish I've ever eaten, but pretty tasty -- and a good thing, because it makes a lot.  I misjudged the spaghetti and had less than I'd figured on, and still had three leftover containers for lunches and a big plateful.

Future development ideas:

I actually intended to include ~½ t of white sugar -- it's part of my basic spaghetti sauce -- but I forgot it.  It was good without it, but might be even better with it.

Keeping a little more liquid, but thickening it with cornstarch, might produce a slightly better consistency.  This "sauce"  was plenty thick enough to eat straight with a fork, and tended to stick to itself more than to the pasta.

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