Quick Spaghetti.

Quick Spaghetti.

When I was a kid, both my mother and my grandmother made a variety of pasta meals. My grandmother had a few signature dishes. One in particular was Quick Spaghetti which was just spaghetti with canned Hunt’s sauce. Her more time consuming recipes often involved ground beef (or ground round as she referred to it) and an onion. Not having to chop the onion or brown the beef gave this spaghetti dish its name, I suppose.  Sometimes she even had a small bowl of sauce already in the fridge covered in a piece of Saran Wrap, presumably from when she made Quick Spaghetti earlier in the week.

I guess not wanting to cook exactly like her mother, my mother did not make Quick Spaghetti. She made three small changes to the meal to make it her own. First, she made elbows or shells or twists.  Second, she used jarred sauce, but only the store brand or maybe Ragu if it was on sale. Third, and quite possibly the thing that truly set her apart from my grandmother, she didn’t heat the sauce. She just opened the jar and poured it on the hot pasta. Her rationale for this culinary short cut was that the macaroni was already hot, why bother dirtying a pot to heat the sauce? She saved time, money on the gas bill not turning on another burner for 3 minutes, and water by not having to wash the pot after. She was a trailblazer for frugal living and saving the environment.

Now, before you go saying that I’m just an ungrateful daughter who didn’t appreciate the love and tenderness that went into pouring that sauce on that pasta, let me reassure you this is not the case. I’ve got my issues with my family, but they did the best they could. My grandmother fed us every single Saturday night for most of my childhood. My mother tried, through illness, depression, and a terrible marriage that ended in divorce. I give these women credit, I honestly do. Their cooking skills though? Well, um…

Tonight my husband is not home and my kid has already eaten. I’m not sure if it’s to keep tradition alive or pay tribute to those women who are no longer here with me, but tonight I will be combining both of their recipes and making my own version of Quick Spaghetti, complete with canned Hunt’s sauce that I will not heat up. And it will be fine, because the spaghetti will make it all lukewarm, just the way I like it.

This is NaBloPoMo Day 14.

10 Responses to “Quick Spaghetti.”

  1. holley4734 says:

    Nice post. :) My mom makes pretty good spaghetti.

  2. wow, you are a mind reader. I have had little time to cook a real meal lately, and while I was taking out the baking pan, the words Quick Spaghett (she often dropped the “i” popped into my mind. I loved when she made that.
    As to the pour the cold sauce on the cooked macaroni, I do that too, but then heat it up in the microwave for 30 seconds or so.
    I am glad my cooking skills don’t mirror Grandma’s and that I am interested in making decent meals, and Jenny’s are even more creative than mine.
    But you are right, they did the best they could and this post brought back the memories of being in the kitchen while my Mom cooked. Her voice saying Quick Spaghetti is one of the few things I can “hear” her saying in my head.
    Ironically, the night my Dad died, his brother and I were feasting on Quick Spaghetti…it was a long time before I made that again.
    Thanks for the memories!

    • michellelongo says:

      Yup, spaghett. I can hear her voice, too. I used to make better meals, but now I’m just so tired and pressed for time. Can you hear my mother whining? “But ‘chelle, you don’t haaaaaave to heat it.”

      • This has been a fun walk down memory lane, watching you two discuss this within your family. Michelle, I’m so glad you can look back with the perspective you have now and know that your Mom was doing the best she could. Sometimes, I don’t know how she even managed to do that, God bless her.

        I’d take that spaghetti, pour it into a casserole dish, drown it in sauce and cover it with cheese, then bake. Mmmmm….

        Now I’m hungry. Dangit.

  3. We have our version of “quick spaghetti” too, and it’s awesome. I think it’s something every cook should have in his or her arsenal for those nights where you just can’t be bothered.

    • michellelongo says:

      I hate cooking for just myself and sometimes I need some comfort food. You’re right, you need that kind of meal for certain nights.

  4. Stacie says:

    Hope you enjoyed it. I usually go the extra mile and heat the sauce if I use a jar. But maybe I’d have more time to blog if I didn’t.

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