I got to taste this great spaghetti sauce variation while visiting Aunt Pat and Uncle Bud in Oklahoma a couple of years ago. Pat is a super cook, and when I saw this interesting combo of ingredients she had put together, I just had to have the recipe.
This probably won’t appeal to those who like things plain and simple, but if you have a sense of adventure, you should give it a try! I’m a big fan of adding extra vegetables to plainer dishes.
Recipe: Aunt Pat’s Lots of Vegetables Spaghetti
(Note: You are welcome to add and subtract ingredients as your tastebuds desire; this is what I used. Pat says she always uses black olives, but won’t add the green ones unless she knows her company likes them.)
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow summer squash, diced
1 medium zucchini squash, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, cubed
1/2 red bell pepper, cubed (you can add yellow or orange peppers, too)
1/2 medium mild onion, diced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound sliced mushrooms (I used baby Portobello)
10-15 black olives, sliced
10-15 green olives, sliced
Herbs to taste: Basil, dill weed, thyme, oregano, tarragon (I used a 1/2 teaspoon of each of these dried herbs)
1 28-32 ounce jar favorite spaghetti sauce (I use Classico tomato and basil)
1 pound lean ground beef (Aunt Pat makes her own meatballs to go with this, but I don’t have that recipe yet)
1 pound thin spaghetti, cooked according to package (I used whole grain this time)
In a large non-stick pan, sauté the squash, peppers, onion, garlic and mushrooms in olive oil until almost done; add olives and keep warm. At the same time in a different pan, brown the ground beef and drain it well (I put it on paper towels to degrease it); add ground beef crumbles to spaghetti sauce in separate sauce pan and simmer while vegetables are getting done. Add herbs close to serving time. Cook spaghetti and drain.
Divide cooked spaghetti into 4 to 6 bowls. Next, add tomato and meat sauce, then top with sautéed vegetables.
Nutritional information per one serving (for one-sixth of recipe): 553 calories, 33 grams protein, 15 grams fat, 65 grams carbohydrate, 14 grams fiber, 56 milligrams cholesterol, 697 milligrams sodium.