What are you cooking up tonight?
If your going for my favorite meal...spaghetti, Here are some tips
What’s In My Spaghetti—Ten Weird and Wacky Secret Ingredients?
What’s hiding in those long strings of pasta? What’s lurking in the rich red sauce? I bet it’s more than meatballs. There may be secret ingredients that would surprise us. Even shock us. What unusual tasty tidbits do we like to include in our spaghetti? Do you add a special ingredient we might want to know…or might not want to know about? If’s fun to experiment and try new things and new food combinations. We came up with ten surprising ingredients that we find odd, though many people love. Some sound yummy…others sound yuck. But there are people who love every one of them. So we may want to give some of these a try. After all there is nothing better than cooking up delicious food for family and friends, and surprising them with an unexpected twist is always a bonus. But if they ask, “What’s in my spaghetti,” we may want to think twice about telling them…depending on which of the following ingredients we use.
A catchy trend that was even included in a recent British grocery store campaign is Spaghetti Bolognese with instant coffee. That’s right. Treat yourself to a true power lunch …caffeine and carbs. As limp as spaghetti noodles are…I guess they could use some strong coffee to perk them up. So instead of putting a spoon full of grounds in your peculator… put them in your spaghetti sauce. It sounds gross…especially since it’s instant coffee…but, a spoon full of coffee grounds adds a depth of roasted flavor to spaghetti bolognese. A spoon full of instant coffee makes the spaghetti go down. Some who have tried this delicacy say…forget about it. Others say…Go for it. Granted, it sounds horrible, but many foodies agree that it's delicious. So next time you need a pick me up…have a plate of coffee or a cup of spaghetti…or have both…together.
2. Cottage Cheese
Cottage cheese…in spaghetti? Sure. You’ve heard that famous nursery rhyme. It goes something like, Little Miss Muffintop sat on a table top eating her curds in whey. Along came a spaghetti and fell inside it and Miss Muffintop ate it away. Well something like that. A nicer name for curds and whey is cottage cheese. Cottage Cheese is made from skim milk. A chemical, called rennin, causes curd proteins in milk to clump together. The whey proteins in milk won’t clump together. Whey isn’t that tasty so before cottage cheese is sold it’s pressed so that it mostly consists of curds. That’s how they make cottage cheese. And many swear that it will make your spaghetti sauce creamier. Whisk in a little cottage cheese into your sauce. Once it’s smooth and melted, toss in the pasta. And…Voila. And no one will guess what the secret ingredient is…unless you tell them.
Yes, we can spoon that thick white gunk into our spaghetti if we want to. Other people do it. Really…is there anything mayonnaise doesn’t go well with? They say mayonnaise even works well as a hair conditioner. You have to admit, in itself, it’s a pretty weird food…even if we don’t put it in our spaghetti. Mayonnaise is actually made of vegetable oil, egg yolks, lemon juice or vinegar, and seasonings. On a large scale, industrial level manufacturers combine the oil, vinegar, salt and other spices, and egg yolks, in huge tanks where they are blended in a high tech mixing process and turned into mayonnaise. And Americans buy more mayonnaise than any other condiment, including ketchup. So since we probably have some on hand in the refrigerator, we might as well try a dab of mayonnaise in our spaghetti. It’s sure to add a rich, delicious, buttery taste.
Is that a long noodle or a tail? Uh…oh…it’s both. Or as I like to say…spaghetti-tails. I knew ox and bulls were males and cows were female. But I didn’t know the difference between an ox and a bull. So it’s actually that oxen are castrated and bulls are not. A great twist to traditional spaghetti or spaghetti bolognese is to use oxtails as your meat ingredient. Ox-tail bolognese or meat sauce with oxtails taste delicious with traditional spaghetti. Some people also like to use it with wanton noodles, which is a tasty twist on the dish. Ox-tails is a great adaption to bolognese sauce. It adds an extra depth of flavor and the ox meat really soaks up the thick, scrumptious sauce.
Move over tomatoes, the avocados are taking your place. Holey-moley, avocados make more than guacamole. They are also a good mash up for spaghetti sauce. Avocados, also called alligator pears as they have rough, green wrinkled skin and they’re shaped a bit like a pear. Such an awesome and diverse fruit…they are a power house of health. Avocados are naturally gluten free, dairy free, and cholesterol-free. Avocados help prevent strokes, heart disease, some eye diseases. They even help prevent prostrate, breast, and oral cancer. Also, they lower your cholesterol. Plus, they are so yummy. You’ve got to love them. And you’ll really love them in your pasta sauce. In fact, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how smooth, creamy and delicious avocado spaghetti sauce can be.
6. Liquid Smoke
Liquid smoke in spaghetti? Now, what is that anyway? Well it turns out they actually take wood (applewood or mesquite) burn it in a chamber and as the fire starts to smoke, they trap it in a condenser where it cools. That cool smoke forms into condensation, which is droplets of water, those are collected and filtered twice. This is the same condensation we get on the inside barbecue/smoker lid. And that is liquid smoke. So we get the smoky taste in our food without having to smoke anything. It boils down to—it’s a liquid seasoning. A word of warning… we have to be careful to measure it out. If we over pour this stuff it can ruin our sauce. But otherwise it adds a rich, smoky taste to the sauce for spaghetti bolognese or a traditional spaghetti sauce.
When choosing apricots look for orange ones not pale yellow. Also, ripe apricots are a bit soft to the touch. Apricots are native of China, where they were called moons of the faithful. The Greeks, who first brought them to Europe, called them golden eggs of the sun. The apricot tree made its debut in the American English colony of Virginia in 1720. In the US they are mainly grown in California. They are low in calories but rich in taste and vitamins, minerals antioxidants, and dietary fiber. They help prevent several cancers, heart disease, and lower cholesterol. Apricots add a luscious burst of summertime fun and flavor to your spaghetti. The smooth sweet taste will have you sold on this secret ingredient. And the added aroma of this dish as it’s cooking is amazing. You’ll find yourself slowly breathing in the beautiful fragrance.
8. Jack Daniels
This doesn’t surprise us much. I mean people pour Jack Daniels into…Everything. And some people swear by Jack in their spaghetti bolognese. Who are we to argue? The liquor cooks out, so if your serving this at a church potluck or something …you won’t get anyone drunk. Now guzzling down Jack while you stir the sauce is not part of any recipe and we are not responsible for anything that occurs if that is the case. This is about adding Jack Daniels to the sauce…only. Jack brings a spark of heat and bite that balances out the sweetness of the tomatoes so a bit of Jack Daniels in your spaghetti sauce is a nice taste twist.
9. Squid ink
Yes you read that correctly. And we thought skid ink wasn’t good for anything but for a squid to use for its magic act of vanishing in the sea. Though, grant it, that is an extremely useful quality…for a squid. Don’t worry we don’t have to go fishing for a squid to try this. We don’t really know how to go about that anyway. It’s really quite easy to get squid. All we have to do is go to a local seafood shop with fresh fish and they’ll probably have it or can get it for us. A bonus is that squid ink adds a black glow to the spaghetti. That sound appetizing...Not. Still for many it is the coolest thing about squid ink spaghetti. Lots of people the world over find this secret ingredient yummy…and I’m told they love it in Japan. Squid ink also gives the pasta a salty, ocean taste…like spaghetti of the sea.
10. Taco Seasoning
What’s good for the taco is good for the spaghetti. Apparently that’s true as spaghetti with taco sauce is a highly rated dish. It’s actually considered to be excellent. Think of it as taco salad, substituting spaghetti for the lettuce. Kind of…at least. Some people even go the extra mile or get extra wild and make spaghetti tacos. Yes, they stuff the corn shells with spaghetti then top them with chopped tomatoes and grated cheese. Honestly, that’s got to be one of the most American dishes anyone can make. It’s reported the kids love spaghetti tacos. I’m sure they do. When you think of it, with two comfort foods in one, we can’t really go wrong. If we want to live on the edge…we can even add jalapeños. We could always add a dollop of sour cream on top as well.