Okay, I think it’s about time that you learn to cook! We will start with something easy and fun – spaghetti! It is impossible to eat a food as silly as spaghetti without a smile. It is something that anyone can fix quickly and also makes a great meal for unexpected company. You only need three ingredients to make spaghetti: noodles, sauce, and ground beef. Some people leave the meat out, but what kind of meal is that?
We will start by cooking the noodles. Use your largest pot so it won’t boil over during cooking. Here is a trick I’ve learned for cooking long spaghetti. First, bring the water to a boil. Then insert the spaghetti noodles and let them soften on one end to wind them around in the pot and avoid breaking them in half. You are on the way to being a gourmet chef already.
Next, unwrap the hamburger. I hope you bought the lean beef or you will end up with a big pan of grease. Crumble the meat into a hot skillet and brown it. Drain off all the extra grease. Oh no, you got the cheap hamburger, didn’t you? Look at all that grease! NO! Don’t drain it in the sink! Too late… Well, maybe it won’t clog the drain.
Okay, now open the jar of spaghetti sauce and add it to the browned meat. Turn the heat on low and let it simmer. Some people make their own spaghetti sauce, but that is definitely too advanced for a beginner. I can’t imagine why anyone would want to spend hours making spaghetti sauce anyhow when we have Ragu.
By now the noodles should be about done. The only way to know for sure is to remove one and test it. It should be tender, but not mushy. They are all stuck together? Haven’t you been stirring them? Well, try to get that blob separated. Next time use a little olive oil in the water and it will help with this problem. At least we used the big pot and they didn’t boil over, well, at least not much. We can clean it up later.
Remove the glob of noodles and place them in a colander to drain. What do you mean, what is a colander? It looks like a bowl with holes in it. You don’t have one? Great! Well, drain the water off the best you can. Maybe the boiling water will help unclog the grease in the drain.
Rinse the noodles in hot water. Why do you have to rinse them when they are already wet? It gets rid of the extra starch. Don’t argue with me! Just rinse the noodles and drain them. You will never learn to cook at this rate!
Okay, we need to make a decision at this point. Do we want to serve the sauce over the spaghetti or do we want to stir them together before serving? I like to stir them together as it gives the noodles a chance to absorb some of the sauce. Also, it will give the noodles a chance to finish cooking since you didn’t let them get quite done.
What is that smell? The spaghetti sauce! I told you to turn it on low! LOW! Don’t you know that tomato sauce burns easily? I don’t know about you, but I’m about feed up with this mess. Cooking class is closed. While I go take the battery out of the smoke alarm, throw that lump of noodles in the garbage disposal and let’s get out of here! Does the Olive Garden take reservations?
Copyright 2001 Sheila Moss