Nothing says comfort food quite like spaghetti and meat sauce. It’s healthy, hearty, family friendly, and budget friendly as you can feed a crowd on very little meat. Unfortunately, once it becomes a family staple, people often get sick of it.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
With a few clever adjustments, you can convert the old-school spaghetti and meat sauce into something a little more exotic.
Take this recipe.
For this dish, I stick to the old-school combo of spaghetti, ground beef, and onions, but instead of using tomato sauce, I threw in some Asian flavorings and a bell pepper. The finished product looks a lot like spaghetti and meat sauce, but the flavor profile is deliciously different.
Try it on your family once in a while.
They’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Here’s How You Do It
Difficulty Level: Easy
Prep and Cook Time: 20-30 Minutes
Serves 2 to 4
1 Pound of Lean or Medium Lean Ground Beef
1 Onion, peeled, cut in half, and sliced
1 Red or Yellow Bell Pepper – coarsely chopped
3 Tablespoons of Soy Sauce
4 Tablespoons of Ketchup – I like using Filipino Banana Ketchup, which is a bit sweeter and available in Asian markets that cater to the Filipino community, but since it’s hard to come by, regular tomato ketchup is fine.
4 Tablespoons of Hoisin Sauce
1 Teaspoon of White Vinegar
Hot Sauce - to Taste – Optional
1 Teaspoon of Honey – Optional
1 Large Clove of Garlic – Finely minced
1 Teaspoon of Fresh Grated or Minced Ginger
Half a box of Spaghetti, Spaghettini, or 1 Pack of Rice Noodles
1 Teaspoon of Salt
2 Tablespoons of Vegetable Oil
1 Teaspoon of Sesame Oil
½ Tablespoon of Smooth Peanut Butter – Optional
1 Teaspoon of Soy Sauce
Lemon Slices – Optional
1 Set of Tongs
1 Knife and Cutting Board
1 Regular Bowl and Spoon
1 Frying Pan or Wok
1 Wooden Spoon
Put a pot of water on the stove and add the salt.
When the water is boiling, dump in your noodles and get started on the beef.
Put the beef in your frying pan and cook on high heat, stirring and breaking it up with a wooden spoon until the meat is no longer pink.
While the meat is browning, mix the soy sauce, ketchup, hoisin sauce, vinegar, and honey and hot sauce (if using) in a regular bowl.
Drain off some of the excess fat and liquid and put the pan back on the heat.
Add the pepper and onions and stir everything together until softened slightly.
Add the soy sauce mixture and the garlic and ginger and stir everything together and leave it to simmer for a minute or three.
By now your pasta should be ready.
Drain it in a strainer and dump it back in your pot.
Add the vegetable oil, sesame oil, teaspoon of soy sauce, and peanut butter (if using) and toss everything around with your tongs to coat.
Give your meat sauce one last stir and turn off the heat.
Put the noodles in a bowl, top with the meat sauce and a slice of lemon if you wish and serve!
-Samantha R. Gold
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