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Saturday, February 22, 2014


I know what you’re thinking, “spaghetti!?!...anyone can make spaghetti!” Ah, but this isn’t just spaghetti, this is Sweet and Spicy Monkey’s version of the traditional Italian favorite. Now you’re thinking “how can you change spaghetti?”. Let me just say this isn't your momma's spaghetti!

I didn’t just pick this blog’s name Sweet and Spicy Monkey out of a hat, there’s reasoning behind this madness (really, there is!). I love everything sweet and as I grow older (ugh!) I’m starting to like my foods a little more spicier, I don’t know, maybe it’s because my taste buds are dying off as I age! As for the monkey part, well, they’re just cute little critters that make you smile! That and Sweet and Spicy Dog or Sweet and Spicy Cat just didn’t sound right. Anyhow, that is how I came up with the name Sweet and Spicy Monkey for this food blog (see, I told you there was reasoning behind it! {smile}).

To get back to the spaghetti recipe, I took the traditional spaghetti recipe and added a twist of Mexicana. I add crushed red pepper flakes and I added one can of fire-roasted, salsa-style diced tomatoes. Now that adds the spice to my spaghetti, but we are not finished with it.

I also mix my sauces, using both a marinara red sauce and Classico’s sun-dried tomato alfredo sauce. To top it off, I add some more crushed red pepper flakes sprinkled on top with the parmesan cheese. And BAM! There is my version of spaghetti, a different spin on the traditional favorite.

If you and your family like spicy, you’re sure to love this recipe and prefer it over traditional spaghetti! I don’t even think I make traditional spaghetti anymore after coming up with this recipe!

Surprise your family tonight!

 Not your momma's Spaghetti

Serves 4


1 – 26 ounce jar marinara sauce (red)

1 – 15 ounce jar Classico’s Sun-dried tomato alfredo sauce

1 pound ground meat (chicken, turkey, or beef)

1 onion, diced

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 can fire roasted, salsa-style diced tomatoes

¼ to ½ cup wine *optional*

Spices for flavoring, add to taste – salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, basil, cumin, bay leaf.

1 – 14.5 ounce package/box spaghetti (I prefer whole grain/wheat spaghetti but you can use any kind)

1 teaspoon olive oil

¼ teaspoon sea salt

Parmesan cheese


In a large skillet, add ground meat. As you cook meat over medium heat, add in diced onions, garlic, and season to taste. Drain off excess oil after meat is browned.

Add in diced tomatoes and bring to a boil. Once it starts boiling, turn down heat to low and simmer.

Slowly pour in both marinara and alfredo sauces, stirring together.

Toss in 1 bay leaf and stir.

If adding wine, pour in. *Sauce will look watery but it gets thicker as it simmers.*

Continue simmering at least 45 minutes to 4 hours, depending how much time you have to cook dinner. I prefer at least one hour to get all the flavors blended together.

Remove bay leaf from sauce before serving.

For spaghetti noodles, Add water at least ½ full to a large saucepan and place over high heat. Season water with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and ¼ teaspoon of sea salt. Bring to a boil. Cook as directed.

Do not rinse noodles after straining.

Place noodles on dinner plates and spoon sauce on top. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and crushed red pepper flakes. Enjoy!

*Helpful Hints*

- If you can't find canned fire roasted, salsa style diced tomatoes you can also use diced tomatoes with green chilies.

- You can use a white, a rose, or a burgundy wine, whichever you prefer. I think wine gives the sauce a richer flavor.

- If you don't want a lot of spicy, just leave out the crushed red pepper flakes and use a mild flavor for the diced tomatoes with green chilies.

- You can substitute plain alfredo sauce instead of the sun-dried tomato alfredo sauce. I prefer the sun-dried because it has a mild tomato taste that enhances the sauce unlike the plain alfredo sauce.
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