All right people, let’s get something out of the way right here (or “raht cheer” as you might hear at some of our finer dining establishments) at the top — there’s more to life than fancy French chickens, high-falutin’ restauants, and fatty duck liver that costs more per pound than I make in an honest day’s work. Oh sure, we might ramble on about cooking aged, bone-in steaks, completely from scratch cakes, and fancy-shmancy noodle dishes with names normal people can’t pronounce — but when it comes down to brass tacks, we cook our fair share of good old-fashioned Southern dishes. You know, Southern dishes like spaghetti. Now I know what you’re thinking — spaghetti is Italian, and I reckon you’ve got a point, but this is how we make spaghetti down in these parts. And if you think THIS version is white trash, remind me to tell you sometime how you can do it even easier with a bottle of ketchup and a few chopped up hot dogs.
Michael’s White Trash Spaghetti
- 1/2 – 1 pound cheapest ground beef in the store. You might think that’s the 73/27 stuff, but you’ll get more bang for your buck if you go with the 80/20. Anything more lean than that is just showing off.
- 2 – 8oz. cans of tomato sauce. Choose from some of the finer store brands here, like Always Save, Great Value, or Best Choice.
- 1 – 15oz. can of “Petite Diced” tomatoes. Again, pick a store brand.
- 1 – 4.5oz. jar of sliced mushrooms. I sprang for the fancy ones in the glass jar, but feel free to use the kind in a can.
- 1 – small can tomato paste. I really don’t know how much is in there, just buy the little can next to the sauce.
- Various herbs and things. I recommend basil, oregano, garlic powder, onion power, and some dried dill. But feel free to use that stuff you can get for 75 cents called “Italian Seasoning” and some garlic salt. It really won’t make a difference.
- Dry spaghetti noodles. As much as you want.
Brown the beef. Depending on how cheap you went with it, there will either be a lot of grease or a whole lot of grease. Let your beef drain on some paper towels, or just leave the grease in — it’s all up to how shiny you want your lips to be when you’re done eating. Dump literally everything else (except the dry spaghetti) on top of the beef and mix it in. Bring the goop to a boil, then turn it down to a simmer so that you can get all those flavors mixing together. Stir this stuff periodically until the noodles are done.
For the noodles, fill a kettle with water and add some salt. Bring the water to a boil and dump in the noodles. When they start getting soft, give them a brisk stir so that they don’t stick together. White trash spaghetti doesn’t necessarily need pasta done al dente, so just cook the noodles until they’re as soft as you like them. Drain the noodles in a collander (which will also be your serving dish) and have everybody get them some noodles and sauce in a bowl. Eat sitting down and watching something good on television — this dish pairs well with the fine reality television brought to you by the folks of TLC. Enjoy!