As I say all the time, Tarzan doesn’t like my cooking.
Well, let me rephrase that. I don’t think my cooking is the problem. He doesn’t like what I cook. As my friend Lynn would say… “same, same”.
Anyway, as far as meals go, my stand-by Make Tarzan Happy meal is spaghetti. It’s also the best bet for the grandkids, although they are historically much (much much) less picky than Tarzan.
Spaghetti was also one of my favorite things my mom made when I was growing up. I do not like anyone’s spaghetti but my mom’s, except my own (which is just like my mom’s.)
I remember being at a friend’s house for dinner once, and they were having spaghetti! It looked just like the spaghetti I knew and loved, and I helped myself to a nice big plate! I discovered too late that it was full of onions and green peppers! And those chunks of red that looked like tomatoes? Red peppers?! And the sauce tasted… sweet? What in the world?
That was when I first realized that different people make the same dish differently! That wasn’t a concept I was familiar with at the time.
Anyway, I don’t do anything fancy with spaghetti. Just a pound of hamburger meat, a jar of meat sauce from Aldi, and noodles… the thin ones. Our grandkids’ mom says that she spends all day simmering her special spaghetti sauce… and she tries not to get her feelings hurt that her kids appear to prefer my version, made with noticeably less “love”.
The trick is getting the right noodle-to-sauce ratio! I never get it right. What I have to do is make way more noodles than I think, and then add the noodles slowly to the sauce until it looks right. Then I use the remaining noodles for other things (for instance today I ate some cold noodles with my current favorite side dish, a broccoli and mushroom recipe I got from emeals).
So this evening I googled “noodles to pasta sauce ratio”, and according to most sources, the right combination is a pound of pasta to 24 ounces of sauce.
Well, not at the Dalton’s house, it isn’t! That would be waaaaaay too many noodles. This last batch I made I cooked about 10 1/2 ounces of noodles, but probably only used a little over half that.
Oh, and I love the pot-sized spaghetti noodles, when I can find them. You have to really look for them in stores, I always tend to overlook them on the shelves, I guess because the box is a different size/shape than I’m expecting?
Some day, I’ll remember to weigh the uncooked noodles, make a note… then before I add the cooked noodles to the sauce, weigh them… then weigh the remaining unused cooked noodles, once I get the sauce-to-noodle ratio to my taste… and back into the calculation of how many ounces of uncooked noodles that would be.
Yes, that’s the kind of thing I do. For fun.
If you think you know the answer, if you think you know the right number of ounces of uncooked thin spaghetti noodles per 24 ounces of pasta sauce (plus a pound of hamburger meat, if that matters), go ahead and let me know. But know, you’re ruining ALL my fun. 😉