Chicago-Style Spaghetti

This recipe is from my grandmother, which originated in 1930’s Chicago. It’s a perfect example of Depression-era cooking at its best.  The spices include only three ingredients; it’s all that’s needed. A baked spaghetti dish that offers a refreshing change of pace — bacon. What’s not to like?

I absolutely love this recipe! It’s been a family favorite for many years. Enjoy—


1/2 pound bacon, chopped into 1/2″ chunks
2 huge Spanish onions, chopped
3 large cans (28 oz. each) whole peeled tomatoes, mashed, with liquid
1 8 oz. can of mushrooms (stems and pieces) with liquid
Salt to taste (about two tsp.)
Garlic powder to taste (about 1 tbs.)
Cayenne red pepper flakes to taste

1 16-oz. box spaghetti noodles


In a large cast-iron skillet, saute the bacon until most of the fat renders out. Drain off the excess fat if needed while it renders. Add the onion and saute until translucent and soft. Do NOT completely brown the bacon or carmelize the onion. Drain off the excess fat. Transfer to a large 6-quart Granite Ware roaster pan. Add the crushed tomatoes and the mushrooms with liquid from the cans.  Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer. Stir occasionally and cook for 1/2 hour, covered.

Add the salt, garlic and cayenne to taste.

Heat oven to 250° F.

While the sauce is cooking, boil the pasta al dente, according to box directions with 1 teaspoon salt. Drain (set aside, covered if necessary) and add to the roaster pan. Toss gently.
Bake covered for 1 hour, stirring once at 1/2 hour. Remove from oven and let sit five minutes covered before serving.

Serve with a nice side salad and garlic bread.

Serves 6

Chicago-Style Spaghetti | Culinary Compost Recipes

Chicago-Style Spaghetti | Culinary Compost Recipes


A Note on the Preparation:
The cookware indicated is exactly the same as in my grandmother’s kitchen back in the 1930s.  Some things don’t need to be improved on.


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