Granddad’s Spaghetti and Green Beans with Shallot Vinaigrette

My Grandmother was full-blood Italian. Her maiden name was Leonardo and I’m very proud of it. But whenever we went over for dinner, it was Granddad who made the spaghetti. He was famous for it.

It’s a simple recipe, but a huge favorite in our house!

SPAGHETTI SAUCE

Ingredients
1 lb. ground beef
3-4 garlic cloves
1 can tomato sauce
1 can diced tomatoes
1/4-1/3 cup red wine*
1-2 tsps. oregano
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
*I usually eye it – we like a lot in our sauce

Directions
1. Brown meat on medium heat.
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2. Add minced garlic and saute for 2 minutes.
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3. Stir in all other ingredients and allow to simmer for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
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4. Serve immediately over spaghetti noodles (I prefer angel hair).

Growing up my mom insisted that we eat well-rounded meals which contained some sort of meat, at least one vegetable, and a starch. I suppose the pattern stuck, because now I can’t have a meal without all three food groups.

When I make spaghetti, in addition to noodles and garlic bread, I typically make green beans or asparagus. One of our favorite ways to eat either vegetable is with shallot vinaigrette poured on top. The recipe below is my own variation on my mom’s original vinaigrette (I owe her a lot, can you tell?). I just played with the liquid amounts until I found a combination I liked best.

SHALLOT VINAIGRETTE

Ingredients
1 shallot, minced
1/8 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
Pinch of salt and pepper
Green beans or asparagus

Directions
1. Combine all ingredients and stir
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2. Pour over freshly steamed vegetables and serve.

Bake up some garlic bread, sprinkle a bit of freshly grated Parmesan cheese, grab a bottle of Peroni, and you’ve got yourself a wonderfully Italian dinner!

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