Sophia Loren greatly said: “Everything you see I owe to spaghetti.”
Did Sophia mean her thighs or her boobs? Either way, this week we’re following in Sophia’s footsteps by visiting the good old fashioned spaghetti plate that we all know and love. There’s nothing more comforting than a hot plate of spaghetti. It reminds me of childhood–when I could slurp my noodles and blow bubbles in my milk without getting funny looks from people.
Oh wait, I always got funny looks for that.
Before we get into the recipe you guys are here for, I have to tell you about one of the best Italian restaurants in Los Angeles. It’s called Palermo and it’s located in the Los Feliz neighborhood of L.A.
Palermo is one of the most understated restaurants in the neighborhood but you have to go. Try their pizza rossa (pictured below) and then email me to tell me thank you for sending you to the most delightful place on the planet. I also devour their lasagna, but order a small serving. Their portions ain’t no joke. Their spaghetti is also divine.
I’m hungry for some pizza rossa now. Thanks a lot. (I realize this has nothing to do with spaghetti.)
I first went to Palermo with my friend Lydia. She said the first time she went, she saw Vince Vaughn. And it’s no surprise. The walls in the foyer of the restaurant are lined with autographed photos of actors and important people who’ve eaten there. And besides that, Lydia is also an actress who has been in films like The Holiday and met Tom Hanks in The Terminal. When we walked into Palermo the first time, the owner of the place (it’s a family owned establishment), Tony, came by to say hi to Lydia. Next thing we knew, we had an order of fried mushrooms delivered on the house. They were good.
I decided I love Ree Drummond, partly because she’s so adorable and partly because she was a blogger before she was a Food Network Personality. So today’s recipe hails from her kitchen. Or her website. Or both.
- 5 pounds Ground Beef (I Used Ground Round)
- 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 2 whole Large Yellow Onions, Diced
- 2 whole Green Bell Pepper, Seeded And Diced
- 6 cloves Garlic, Minced
- 1 cup White Wine (or Low Sodium Beef Broth If You Prefer)
- 2 cans 28 Ounce Crushed Tomatoes
- 1 can (14 Oz. Size) Crushed Tomatoes
- 1 can (small, 4-ounce) Tomato Paste
- 1 jar Good Storebought Marinara Sauce (can Use Another Jar If You Like The Sauce To Be More Saucy Than Meaty)
- 1 teaspoon Ground Oregano
- 1 teaspoon Ground Thyme
- 4 whole Bay Leaves
- 2 Tablespoons Sugar
- 2 teaspoons Kosher Salt
- ½ teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper (optional)
- ¼ cup Finely Minced Fresh Parsley (or 3 Tablespoons Parsley Flakes), More To Taste
- 1 whole Rind From One Wedge Parmesan (optional)
- ½ cup Grated Parmesan Cheese (optional)
- 2 pounds Spaghetti, Cooked Al Dente And Tossed With Olive Oil
- Extra Minced Parsley, For Serving
- Extra Parmesan Cheese, For Serving
- IMPORTANT: This recipe can be cut in half.
- In a large pot over medium-high heat, brown the ground beef until browned. Remove meat from pot with a slotted spoon and put into a bowl. Set aside.
- Discard any grease in pot, but do not clean the pot. Drizzle in olive oil. When it is heated, throw in the diced onion and diced bell pepper. Stir it around for 1½ minutes, then add the garlic. Stir and cook for an additional minute.
- Pour in the wine and allow it to bubble up and reduce for about 1½ minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, and marinara sauce. Stir to combine, then add oregano, thyme, sugar, salt, bay leaves, and crushed red pepper (if using). Stir, then add cooked ground beef and stir to combine. Place the lid on the pot and allow to simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Add a little water or some low-sodium broth if it needs more liquid.
- After an hour, add the minced parsley and the rind from a wedge of Parmesan (or grated Parmesan if you prefer--or both!) Stir to combine, then put the lid back on and allow it to simmer for another 30 minutes or so. Discard bay leaves before serving.
A Foodies Dream is a weekend feature, including the best food recipes I’ve found online. All of which I’m dying to try. I’m a foodie and if you’re reading this, you probably are, too. Happy eating & enjoy the foodies dream! Let me know in the comments if you try any of these recipes (or if you adapt any to your own taste). This week’s theme is Spaghetti.