Spaghetti with sauce, nothing like it one a cold night. An easy way to fix it, is to brown up some hamburger and add your favorite already prepped spaghetti sauce, esp on nights when you don't have a lot of time. However, some nights you don't want commerical sauce, so here is an easy sauce you can make up in no time.
You will need:
1 15 oz can of tomato sauce
1 heaping teaspoon chopped garlic (this one of my favorite cheats, I buy it already chopped in jars):
1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
1-2 teaspoons italian deasoning
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon onion powder or heaping tsp of dried onion flakes
dash of black pepper
dash or two tabasco sauce
dried spaghetti for 1 or 2 people
Heat up pot and melt butter over medium heat (if using olive oil, heat up pan and ten add oil). When the butter has melted and is foamy and a little bit brown, add chopped garlic and sautee until soft (do not do this over high heat, burnt garlic is quite bitter and not at all yummy).
When garlic has soften, add tomato sauce, spices, salt, pepper, onion, black pepper and tabasco. Stir to mix well and let simmer for a while. Keep heat low to medium, put a lid on to avoid any spatters and spits.
While the sauce is simmering, get a big pot and fill with water. Now, there is instructions on most pasta packages of how much water to how much pasta. I ignore those. I usually add just enough to cook the pasta to where I like it. Alton Brown of Good Eats did a show on pasta and gives a really good explaination of the whys and wherefores of cooking pasta, I really recommend catching that episode if you can: Pantry Raid (Part I): Use Your Noodle. There is a very good transcript of the espisode on the Good Eats Fan page.
Put the pot on the burner, set the heat for high and throw in a good pinch of salt. Once the water gets to boiling, add the spaghetti:
Push the spaghetti down into the water as it softens and continue to boil.
Cooking time depends on how done you like you pasta. I like mine al dente, which means slightly chewy, al dente is Italian for "to the tooth". Rather then rely on time, I check the pasta by taking out a strand when it looks like it is getting close to done and try it. If it crunches, it isn't done. Once it is the right doneness for me I take it off the heat and dump the pasta into a colander, which you can pick up at the dollar store or places like Shopko:
Once drained, portion onto plates and add the sauce. Top with parmesean cheese, pair with a nice salad and some garlic bread and voila! Dinner :)