January 4th is Spaghetti Day. Spaghetti is pretty much the only Italian food I know I like. (Yes, I like pizza, but from everything I've heard, pizza in Italy is nothing like the pizza in the US, so I can't say whether or not I like it.) Whole wheat noodles, thin noodles, thick noodles, plain tomato sauce, lots of herbs, sauce with meat, meatless sauce, vegetables, no vegtables... There are so many delicious possibilities with spaghetti.
My favorite way to make spaghetti? Well, whole wheat noodles to start. I've gotten past the whole "throw the noodle on the wall" thing to see if the noodles are cooked - I usually just eat one when I think the noodles are ready. For the sauce, I tend to go meatless (my friend calls me a "Sometimes Omnivore") but if I add meat, it's maybe an ounce or two of cooked, lean ground beef.
I have no real preference for sauce - storebought or homemade canned, I like it all. Ragu, Prego, Newman's Own, store brand... As long as it comes in a jar and is tomato based with no meat, I'll get it.. (Maybe because I add so much stuff...more on that in a bit.) I just don't get the spaghetti sauce that comes in a can - all that worry about BPA leaching into tomatoes.
Then the key to my spaghetti: veggies. Lots and lots of veggies.
If you were to look at the ratios of my spaghetti, it's probably 1 part noodles, 1 part tomato-based sauce, 0-.5 part meat, and 5 parts vegetables. I usually get a sauce with vegetables or mushrooms already, but then I always add my own. Onions and garlic are always added in. If I have fresh tomatoes, mushrooms, and bell peppers, they get added. Same with zucchini and other squashes. When I'm really lazy, I may just add a bag of frozen stir-fry veggie mix.
Now, it's time for my favorite veggie: peppers.
The hotter the pepper, the happier I am. Habañeros, Anaheims, fresh jalepeños - I love them all. If I don't have any fresh pepper, I'll add two or three tablespoons of crushed red pepper to my spaghetti sauce. Sometimes, I'll add some salsa, just for an extra kick.
How do you have your spaghetti?