As a kid, my father and I would order Italian take-out from Savoia’s Spaghetti. Most people grew up with mom’s spaghetti, but in my household—my father could not cook.
Savoia’s recipe originated from the Cipriani’s kitchen in New York, or something like that. It’s recipe based on a lore or forgotten family feud, but a meal that always had a story to accompany it. Usually one about being a high-roller for General Motors.
Anyway, Savoia’s is unlike any other spaghetti sauce I have ever eaten. It’s a marinara; sweet, tangy, and mixes well with the starch of the noodles. It is served over spaghetti so thin that it should probably be called Cappalini. But it doesn’t matter.
Most people who order from Savoia’s also choose to order a meatball or spicy Italian sausage to go along with it. Both are exactly what you would think a memorable Italian staple in Chicago Heights should taste like. The meatballs, as my dad used to say, are like a really tender and moist meatloaf and the sausages have the perfect amount of kick to them. Just enough to make you sweat a little above your upper lip.
Up until I was well into adulthood, I had never even attempted to make my own spaghetti or spaghetti sauce. I am German and Norwegian. We are not really known as people who can make a good gravy or bake a perfect cutlet, but then I watched a cooking segment on Bolognese sauce and it looked so good that I figured I just had to at least try to make it. It took me almost 16 hours (I also made my own pasta), but it was then and there that I realized why the Italian’s love to cook. Why it’s part of their culture. Italian cooking is beautiful. It exists from years of tradition, knowledge and respect for food.
Wednesday night I had every intention of making a meatloaf. I was going to make the meatloaf from Michael Ruhlman’s cookbook, “Ruhlman’s Twenty”. I had obtained a $3.00 eBook copy on my Kindle and was dying to try it out. After gathering my ingredients and heading home, I poured a glass of wine and laid everything out, only to realize that I had forgot to get eggs. I was absolutely devastated. I was also lazy and instead of going back out to get eggs, I ransacked my kitchen to see what I had and what I could put together. I found in my fridge carrots, onion, green pepper. I found on my shelf, cappelini, a can of tomatoes, Bouillon cubes, cappalini noodles, tomato paste and parmesean. As much as I didn’t want to resort to spaghetti, I did.
I don’t think anyone in my house expected anything out of the ordinary, but what came out was really delicious. The household raved. It was simple, tasty, and it was ready in under 45-minutes. I served it along with a salad. Below is the recipe. Make sure you serve it with a hearty sprinkling of parmesean cheese.
Easy Spaghetti and Meat Sauce Recipe
Serves: 4-6 (with leftovers)
Time: 45 minutes
1 (32 ounce) can of tomato sauce
1 (15 ounce) can of chopped tomatoes
1 large onion, chopped
2 large carrotts, chopped and finely diced
3 cloves garlic, mashed
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1 lb ground beef
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 beef double bouillon cubes
salt and pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup red wine (optional)
1 lb spaghetti noodles, cooked according to package directions
Heat olive oil in a shallow soup pot.
Sauteé garlic until golden, then add onions, carrots and peppers.
Sauteé until onions are starting to become translucent, then add beef, and season with salt and pepper.
Brown until cooked through (about 10-15 minutes).
Add wine (if using) and allow to cook for a couple of minutes.
Add tomato sauce, tomatoes, boullion cube, seasonings, salt and pepper and sugar.
Stir to combine and bring to a boil.
Boil for about 1 minute then reduce heat to med-low and simmer 20 minutes.
Serve over spaghetti, top with parmesan cheese.