Souped-Up Spaghetti

Spaghetti is a classic dish, and this variation retains the characteristic taste but mixes up the textures.

INGREDIENTS | SERVES 6–8

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 small green sweet pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 15-ounce cans diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 ½ cups water
  • 1 13- to 15-ounce jar spaghetti sauce
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon dried Italian seasoning, crushed
  • Dash dried red pepper flakes
  • 2 ounces dried spaghetti, broken into 2" pieces
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • OPTIONAL: fresh chopped parsley to taste
  1. Add the ground beef, onion, sweet pepper, celery, carrot, and garlic to a 4-quart Dutch oven. Cook over medium heat until the vegetables are tender and the meat is no longer pink, stirring frequently. Drain off and discard excess fat.

  2. Stir in the undrained tomatoes, water, spaghetti sauce, sugar, Italian seasoning, and red pepper flakes; bring to a boil. Add the spaghetti. Reduce the heat to a gentle boil and cook uncovered for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the spaghetti is tender. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper, if desired. Serve immediately, garnished with parsley, if desired.

Sneaky Additions

Thanks to the spaghetti sauce, you can add a bag of frozen vegetables to the Souped-Up Spaghetti; add the vegetables 10 minutes into the pasta cooking time in step 2. This is a great trick for anyone who has a picky eater at the table.

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