The Velvet Devil Spaghetti

Yes, the spaghetti is named after the wine.  I couldn't resist, and  it does contribute that special bit of extra zip and depth.  To a cognoscenti, I'm sure there is way too much of the ragu to the amount of pasta on that plate, but when the "condiment" is to die for, it is excusable.  Use as much as you like.

Everyone has their favorite recipe, or do they?  I seem to change mine a bit every time I make a beef spaghetti sauce.  If there are zucchini on hand, in they go.  Celery (if I have it), olives, onions (of course) and garlic (lots) along with the ground beef.  And, a good red wine.  In this case, The Velvet Devil.  Bet they sell cases of that on the name alone.  At any rate, I'll share this version, since it was soooo good.

Velvet Devil Spaghetti

1 lb. ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
5-6 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 zucchini, sliced
1 stalk celery, chopped
1/2 cup olives, sliced (optional)
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 cup red wine
1 can whole tomatoes, pureed or coarsely chopped
1 small can tomato paste
1 bay leaf
1 sprig fresh oregano, minced (I use the thick Cuban sort that grow wild here)
1 big sprig of thyme
1/4 cup sliced basil (add at the finish)
Parmesan cheese, grated

Get out all your ingredients, and start chopping veggies.  Mise en place - we're big on that now.  Heat olive oil in a big saute pan, add in the onions and stir fry until going translucent, then add in the garlic, and let that cook a minute or two, add in the beef and stir, cooking until it loses the pink color, then add in the remaining vegetables and let them cook a bit before stirring in the tomatoes, paste, some water, the wine and herbs (except basil).  When you have it simmering nicely, leave for as long as you have the time.  An hour is good, but if you're in more of a rush then just until the veggies are all tender and the sauce has reduced some.  When you're just about there, get your pasta water going and cook up your favorite noodles.

You knew that, but hey, we each have our own idiosyncracies and variations on popular dishes.  It's sometimes good to get another's take on a familiar subject.  So, my good old Spaghetti will go over to Presto Pasta Nights, hosted this week by Claire of Chez Cayenne. Check out her round-up after Friday for some more delightful pasta recipes.


Claire said...

Red wine is the best in spaghetti sauce, isn't it?

Thanks for sending this in to Presto Pasta Nights.

Ruth Daniels said...

I am drooling. And you are so right, my "favorite" version changes almost as often as I make some! Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights. Always a joy when you do.

Ben said...

Red wine makes sauces taste better. I like your take on this spaghetti sauce. The more vegetables the better, right?

The Food Hunter said...

This I'd a good one..love the name