Monday, February 2, 2009

Rachel Ray was Right Spaghetti

Back when I was working I would regularly watch Rachel Ray when I got home from work to help unwind. She can be a bit much to take sometimes. Her "yummos" and "EVOO" can grate, but in general I like her. I remember one dish she made a couple times (she really seems to make the same dish often with slight variations) was Pasta Puttanesca. She giggled both times about how Puttanesca means "whore" in Italian. While the name is amusing, the thing I found most interesting about the dish was anchovies.

Up until a few weeks ago I had never tried an anchovy. The idea of a whole fish kind of grossed me out. Plus I associated them with cigars because my great grandfather was fond of both.

Now Ms. Ray promised that adding anchovies to my pasta sauce would not make it taste fishy. She told me it would just add "another layer of salty flavor". Mmmm. Salty. I was sold on the idea, but still not willing to risk ruining dinner. Then last November I bought a pack at the store. There they sat up sitting in my cupboard til finally a couple weeks ago I got the nerve to use them.

Pasta for me is really just a cheese delivery system. I rarely would choose to make it now that we are dairy free if it weren't so gosh darn easy. So as I was lamenting my lack of cheese while making spaghetti I decided that I would throw in the anchovies. Who cares if I screw it up? I don't really want to eat it anyway!

As I open the can I almost changed my mind. The little suckers look gross. Whole little dead fishies. They also smell kind of like tuna which I wasn't expecting since Rach promised me they wouldn't taste fishy.

I finished up my sauce with a handful of green olives and served it to my unsuspecting family. I did not mention my fishy addition. My husband and daughter ate it all up! My son had his meat on the side and declined noodles. Once my husband was finished I asked my him if he like it and what he thought I had added. He could not guess and was pretty surprised that it was anchovies. He ate a second helping. So I guess Rachel Ray was right, you can't specifically taste anchovies in tomato sauce.

So without further ado here is my recipe for Rachel Ray was Right Spaghetti (because this is a family blog and calling it Whore Noodles seems wrong)...

- One jar of dairy free spaghetti sauce (I used Ragu onion and garlic)
- One tin of sardines in oil (drained)
- One pound lean ground beef (drained)
- Handful of olives, chopped
- Spaghetti noodles


1. Brown ground beef and drain.
2. Open sardines and dump them in the pan with the beef. Make sure there is enough oil from wither the fish or the beef for the anchovies to dissolve into.
3. Stir the fishies around til they dissolve.
4. Add the jar of sauce and stir.
5. Add the olives.
6. Let everything simmer together for a bit.
7 Either add your cooked noodles to your sauce or serve the sauce over your noodles. I will let you choose. I am not bossy like RR who tells ya to always add the noodles.

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