From Ruth Van Waerebeek’s "Everybody Eats Well in Belgium Cookbook." A simple-to-make, delicious spaghetti dinner — and nicely different from the traditional spaghetti and meatballs. Here, the thick sauce is loaded with vegetables and ground beef (or try ground turkey for a leaner version.) The Gruyère cheese is worth the extra cost; it makes all the difference. I like the extra Tabasco, too. I usually double or triple, and freeze the extra for another meal or two later in the week. This dish, a couple of bottles of wine, and some friends... you got yourself a nice, casual dinner party.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 onions, chopped
- 1⁄2 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1⁄4 lb white mushroom, sliced
- 1 carrot, peeled and diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1⁄2 teaspoon oregano
- 1⁄2 teaspoon thyme
- 1 teaspoon basil
- 1⁄2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
- 1 (14 ounce) canpeeled plum tomatoes, chopped
- 1⁄2 cup dry red wine
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- salt and pepper
- 1 lb thin spaghetti
- Tabasco sauce (optional)
- 3⁄4 cup grated gruyere cheese
- Heat olive oil in deep pan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions, bell pepper, mushrooms, and carrots. Cook until soft, 5 to 8 minutes. Add half the garlic and all the ground beef. Continue cooking over medium heat, using a wooden spoon to stir and break up the meat with, until meat is no longer pink.
- Stir in sugar, oregano, thyme, basil, red pepper flakes, and parsley. Add tomatoes and juices, red wine, and tomato paste. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 35 minutes.
- Add remaining garlic. Add Tasbasco sauce, if desired.
- Cook spaghetti; drain. Distribute among four bowls. Spoon sauce over spaghetti. Top with Gruyère cheese.
After a recent trip to Belgium my DD requested that I prepare "something Belgian" and chose this recipe. We really enjoyed the chunky combination of vegetables and meat. You're right - the gruyere cheese made it something special. Although I enjoy gruyere, my children used parmesan and still enjoyed it. Ruth Van Waerebeek's recipes are great! Thanks for posting Belgophile.