Captain Slog says:
A "Cheap" Meal for Two, aye? How's this? Do you like Spaghetti Bolognaise? Have you made it before? How about a simple Curry? I have my Spaghetti EVERY Friday, and its made from scratch. THe Curry I usually have on Mondays. Its either Chicken or Pork, depending what meat is On Special and IF I can afford it or not. Not lately, though. You can find my Curry Recipe in one of the other Submissions I did in the Food & Drink section. I even gave some useful Time Saving Hints like cooking the Rice first thing in the morning, and getting the Potatoes ready at the same time, but NOT cooking them.
I'm not sure if I put my Spaghetti recipe in here, but, for you, IF you're interested, here it is.
I usually make my Spaghetti Sauce after I've had my Breakfast. Its a great Time Saver.
My sauce is very easy to make and I refer to the MAIN Ingredients as the "Telescope." That is because they are ONE of a Twin Tub Pack of LEGGO's Tomato Paste, ONE 300g tin of WATTIE'S Tomato Sauce (If you're in Oz, ANY 300g Sauce will do), and ONE 420g Tin of LEGGO'S Tomato Puree.
Other ingredients are:
One Tablespoon Extra Virgin Oil
500g Beef Mince
One Medium Onion, Two or Three Cloves Garlic.
1/2 Teaspoon each Salt & Pepper.
(Optional - One Packet of "creSpo" Olives, or a Bay Leaf or both. A Teaspoon of Balsamic Vinegar or Dessertspoon of Red Wine)
PLEASE WASH YOUR HANDS!! Thank You!
Add the Oil to your pan and turn heat to HIGH.
Open your pack of mince and as the heat is just starting to build up, break off bits of Mince and add to the pan, then move it around with your spoon. Press it down and mix it up until it is nicely browned. When finished, it should be nice and crumbly.
Turn the heat to HALF!!
Add the Onions and Garlic and mix in and let the heat make them translucent.
At this stage, Turn the heat to LOW.
You can then add the first of your Tomato Ingredients. These should be opened and ready for when you need them.
In any order, add one of them at a time and mix them in before adding the next one. when all of them are in, mix well and have a Taste. See if any Seasoning is needed. I usually add a few grinds of Black Pepper, and taste again. If required, I may add Salt. I may also add the packet of Olives. I quite like the Green Olives with Herbs, and these packets are Recipe Size. Just right!
Your taste may be different to mine, so these are just a Guide to making a great Sauce.
After a few minutes of cooking, I then just turn the heat OFF and forget about it. The heat will do the rest, and I don';t have to worry about it until Dinner Time in the arvo.
Before I dio anything else, I put my LARGE Pan on the stove and add 3 Litres of Cold Water and a Dessertspoonful of Salt and stir it in to desolve it. That's it! I don't have to worry about that until 4:30 pm when I turn the water on to LOW so that around 5:15pm it is almost ready to come to the Boil. While I'm waiting for the water to bet to temperature, I'm taking care of my Cat's tucker.
When I've seen to Charlie's Tucker, and his mates outside, I wash my hands, and then turn the water to HIGH and my Sauce to LOW.
From my Pasta Canister, I then shake out enough Spaghetti (Angel Hair, Vermacelli, Spaghetti, or Tubular Spaghetti. Depending on what Spaghetti I have at the time) to go through a One Inch Ring. That is just for ME! For TWO people, twice this amount will be needed, obviously. I lay it in my Pasta Plate/Bowl and keep an eye on the water.
The water SHOULD be at a Rolling Boil and at this stage you may now add your Pasta. It is advisable to add it slowly so you don't losse the heat in the water. The best way is to hold the Spaghetti like a Baton and stand it up in the middle of the pan. Now, place your other hand flattly on the top and gently press down, forcing the pasta to bow outwards like a "cage". Keep pressing down slowly until you are almost just above the water, about three inches. At this stage, take your hand away and the pasta will just flick around into a ring inside the pan. Give it a stir gently with a fork to separate it all and wait.
Don't forget your sauce!! Check on it and see if it is getting warm again. Turn the heat OFF! you don't want it to start sticking.
Oops! You didn't notice what time you put the Spaghetti on! DON'T PANIC! Stirring with your fork, you can see what its like by then just hooking a few strands and twisting them onto the fork.
If they are not tightly around the tines, whey will flick off and are therefore not ready yet. A few minutes later, try again. If they wrap around the fork, good! Have a try of them. Are they to your likeing? Aldente or Soft? They should be tightly wrapped around the fork like wet wool. JUST RIGHT!
Turn the heat OFF and just wait until the boiling has died down, or the element gone BLACK. AT this stage, remove the pan and put your Sauce on the element so it heats up with the residual heat.
Turn on the Cold Water before you drain the Spaghetti. This way, when you frain it, the steam won't hit you in the face with all the heat. Shake it to remove excess water and the place into your favourite Pasta Bowl. All thats left to do now is serve it up and add the Pasta Sauce. Put a little Grated Cheese (Parmi, Edam, Tasty or GALAXY Blue Vein - Crumbed. YUMMO!) and Viola! Enjoy!
I hope you like it. Oh! And everyone else who reads this, too.
The key to it all is ORGANISATION and Preparation. Think of ways to Save Time and things will fall into place nicely.