Spaghetti is a classic dish with so many homemade versions with all kinds of ingredients going into it and almost always served with a side of Garlic Bread. It’s just too good, extremely filling and cheap to make.
This recipe does not include a specific Spaghetti Sauce in the recipe. Instead a choice of Spaghetti Sauces are offered, depending on what type you’d like to have. Pick a Sauce to make this first and have some Spaghetti for Pasta Night. Add in some Meatballs and/or include a Béchamel Cheese Sauce on top. Whatever Pasta Sauce you choose or additional add ins, Don’t forget the Garlic Bread, it’s a really good one.
It all starts with a good Tomato Sauce and depending on what you are after for a particular day, there are a few options to choose from to create a variety of Spaghetti dishes.
Pasta Sauce takes the longest time to prepare and for this reason it’s a good idea to make a big batch up and then portion out and freeze the Pasta Sauce for various other Pasta Dishes.
Basil Tomato Sauce
A Basil Tomato Sauce that can be made up in 40 minutes. With or without meat. This is good when looking for something a bit faster or a fresh Tomato taste.
A good Ragu Style Pasta Sauce with just the right amount of SASS. Made with Ground Beef & Italian Sausages. This one takes about 2 1/2 hours to make.
While not traditionally served with Spaghetti. Bolognese is quite popular. A good Bolognese takes at least 4 hours.
If using Bolognese as a Spaghetti Sauce, then add in about 1/2 C or so of fresh Passata when cooking the Spaghetti in the Sauce to thin it out a bit and add a fresh Tomato Flavor.
For each person 4 oz. or about 100 g of Pasta is good. With about twice that much (200 g) of Pasta Sauce. More or less depending on preference.
Place Spaghetti into a tall glass to weigh out 100 g per person.
Use 16 Cups of Water with 1 – 2 Tbl of Sea Salt. Pasta Water should be Salty in order to allow the Pasta to absorb that Salt & Season it. It adds flavor to the Pasta itself and is a determining factor in if the entire dish taste flat or is loaded with flavor throughout the entire dish. It is distinguishable, you can taste it in the Pasta, or not.
Sea Water for Pasta
Some will say you need enough Salt for it to taste like Sea Water. That is an extreme amount of Salt. Considering that Pasta Water is often used to adjust the consistency of Pasta Sauces, it will throw the whole dish off. Pasta water is not suppose to be that Salty. Just a nicely seasoned water that can be added in various amounts and not really affect the Pasta Sauce all that much.
Oil in Pasta Water
Oil should not be added to Pasta Water. It hinders the ability of the Sauce to stick to the Pasta creating a barrier around the Pasta. Just Water with a good amount of Salt is all that is needed to cook Pasta.
How to Boil Spaghetti
Add Dry Pasta to the Pot once the Salted Water is boiling. Keep stirring until it returns to a boil. At this point you won’t have any Pasta sticking to each other and you can stir it occasionally.
Cook accordingly to the package instructions. But taste test it a few minutes before it’s suppose to be done. If it’s just about done but still needs a minute or so to finish cooking, strain and don’t rinse the Pasta. Finish cooking the Pasta in the Sauce until done. If not cook longer and test again.
Boil the Pasta last after the Sauce is just about ready. You want to be able to strain the Pasta and place it into the Sauce right away to finish cooking until Al Dente. Reserve some Pasta water in case you have to adjust the consistency of the Sauce.
Use a Pasta Pot fitted with an inner Strainer to boil the Pasta in or use Tongs to remove the Pasta and add directly to the Pasta Sauce. If straining through a sieve or colander, use a mug to scoop out some of the Pasta Water and then strain.
No matter how you strain or scoop the Pasta out, be sure to reserve some Pasta Water to adjust the Sauce consistency. Placing the Pasta into a pan with the Sauce to finish cooking over medium heat produces the best Spaghetti.
How to Serve Spaghetti
The Pasta is cooked last while the Sauce is simmering so that the Pasta can be strained and ready for the Pasta Sauce. Both the Pasta & Sauce is cooked over medium heat until done. It is then picked up with a pair of Tongs and twisted on the plate. There are two ways to serve it, Sauce on top or Italian Style.
In both cases, the Spaghetti is scooped out of the Pot and added directly to the Sauce over medium heat to finish cooking. Plated as is Italian Style or with more Sauce on top.
Pasta water is used to adjust the consistency. This really is the best way to serve Spaghetti. It blends the Pasta and Sauce together with the starches from the Pasta thickening the sauce.
Spaghetti With Sauce on top
Keep a Pot of Sauce on low heat to stay warm and then just scoop out the desired amount of Sauce to cook with the Pasta. Plate the Spaghetti and ladle more Sauce on top.
Spaghetti with Sauce on top
Spaghetti is mixed with Pasta Sauce with more Sauce ladled on top.
Made with Pasta Sauce
The Italian way is served in a shallow bowl. I don’t have one of these so I serve it up on a plate. Traditionally though it is a wide shallow bowl with no Sauce on top. It looks halfway between a plate and a bowl.
Adjusted for final seasoning with Salt & Pepper, the Spaghetti is picked up with tongs and twirled on a Pasta Bowl. No Sauce on top.
Use 200 g of Sauce per 100 g of Pasta per person.
Made with Basil Tomato Sauce
There are actually a few options here to serve as a side dish. As Basil is to Tomatoes, Garlic Bread is to Pasta or at least some kind of variation of it.
Absolutely the best Garlic Bread! Loaded with flavors to please the most serious garlic lovers. Optionally sprinkle some cheese on for a Cheesy Garlic Bread.
Baked in the Oven or Air Fryer.
Types of Spaghetti
It is such an iconic and extremely versatile dish. Allowing you to use a variety of Sauces or additional ingredients added in. Below are some ideas for different types of Spaghetti.
Serve a Béchamel Cheese Sauce over top for a Creamy Spaghetti.
- 1 1/2 C Cream
- 3 Tbl Flour & Butter
- 1 Tbl Parmesan & Romano Powder
- 1/4 C Provolone Cheese Shredded
- 1/4 tsp Salt or more to taste
- 1/8 tsp Nutmeg & White Pepper
Spaghetti & Meatballs
Make some meatballs up and serve with the Spaghetti on top or simmered in the Sauce.
Make the meatballs from scratch or use Italian Sausages, skin removed and portioned into meatballs.
Portioning Leftover Pasta Sauce
Weigh out any leftover Pasta Sauce at 200 g per portion. Place it into a Ziploc bag or Tupperware container and freeze. This way you can take out however many you need for each person.
You can also use leftover Pasta Sauce to make Pasta Pitas. These are extremely good!
- 1 Large Skillet for the Sauce & Pasta
- 1 Stockpot to boil the Spaghetti
- 1 Saucepot for the Sauce
- 1 Strainer or Tongs
- 1 Scale to weigh the Pasta & Sauce
- 200 g Spaghetti
- 400 g Spaghetti Sauce - see notes
- 16 Cups Water
- 1-2 Tbl Sea Salt
- To taste Salt & Pepper
- Start by preparing your choice of Spaghetti Sauce or use leftover Pasta Sauce. Keep warm on the back burner over low heat.
- Fill a Pot up with 16 Cups of Water and 1-2 Tbl Sea Salt. Bring to a Boil on the back burner. Add the Dry Spaghetti and mix until it returns to a boil again. Cook until almost done mixing every so often.
- In a large skillet weigh out 400 g of Pasta Sauce and heat over medium heat.
- Strain the Spaghetti reserving some of the Pasta Water to adjust the Sauce consistency or use Tongs to pick up the Spaghetti and add it directly to the Skillet with the Pasta Sauce.
- Cook while mixing until the Spaghetti is Al Dente. Use the Pasta Water to adjust the consistency if needed. Adjust the Seasoning and Serve. Optionally with more Sauce on top.
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