Nearly everyone has a go-to spaghetti recipe they cook at home and adapt for many occasions. A traditional Italian food, spaghetti typically consists of long, thin, strips of pasta. It has been made of milled wheat and water for decades, but today shoppers can find enriched versions that contain additives like vitamins and calcium. Spaghetti is sold in various thicknesses as well. Cooks can use a basic recipe and alter it to fit everything from quick lunches to elaborate dinners. The classic dish is always popular, and nearly every food resource offers a library of trendy versions that can be paired with side dishes like salad and garlic bread. Famously, the tomato and pasta meal also goes well with wine.
Spaghetti and Meatballs: A Favorite Standby
Many Italian families have protected their spaghetti and meatball recipe and handed it down for generations. But you don’t have to have an Italian grandmother’s recipe to make a delicious version of the dish. Foodies like Rachel Ray offer versions that anyone can create and even tweak to suit their tastes. For example, cooks can use any type of meat they want for meatballs and spice the sauce to taste.
Great sauces often include olive oil, pepper flakes, onion, beef stock, canned crushed tomatoes, parsley, basil, grated cheese, and garlic. While recipes may vary, the one constant is that they all taste their best when served with a side of Garlic Breadsticks or sliced garlic bread, along with a big salad.
A Budget Version Is Still Delicious
Chefs often spend hours preparing spaghetti for dinners, and many spare no expense when choosing ingredients. However, it is possible to create a mouth-watering variation of their recipes for just a few dollars. Per Food and Wine magazine, Chef Roy Choi makes a $4 spaghetti dish that he feels rivals the meal served at New York’s famous eatery, Scarpetta. Ingredients include the traditional basil, olive oil, garlic cloves, salt, pepper, and cheese, as well as two cans of peeled tomatoes. But the secret is flavoring tomatoes with mushroom sauce. The sauce can be frozen for three months, making it even more economical.
Spaghetti Can Be Altered for Vegetarians
A basic spaghetti recipe is easily adapted to fit the needs of vegetarians. Some people who avoid meat settle for spiced sauce and pasta, which is delicious. However, it is possible to substitute other foods for meatballs and create a more exciting version. The Food Network offers a tasty and healthy recipe that is ideal for outdoor cooking. It uses olive oil and sun-dried pesto for flavor and includes eggplant, olives, and zucchini. Grilled in foil pockets, the sauce is served over whole-wheat pasta.
Get Creative With Pasta
Another reason for the enduring popularity of spaghetti is that it can be modified for kids. It is easy for the family to cook to take a simple, nutritious recipe and substitute pasta in fun shapes that appeal to young eaters. For example, Cavatelli is made from eggless dough and rolled into tiny shapes that look like hot dog buns. Tortellini is ring-shaped, farfalle looks like butterflies, and rigatoni is made up of big shells.
A single spaghetti recipe can be adapted to fit almost any occasion. Perhaps one of the most versatile and tasty dishes, spaghetti can be paired with meatballs for a classic dinner. Ingredients are easily altered to make inexpensive and vegetarian versions. Although the traditional recipe calls for long, thin spaghetti, spaghetti can also be made with a variety of other pasta.