I discovered this a few weeks ago when I made some penne pasta but had it confirmed tonight when I whipped up some sketti. Mitty sat staring at me the whole time I ate, so when I was finished, I set my plate on the floor and she ate some of the spaghetti that was left. Naturally, by the time I thought to try to get a picture of her, nibbling away, she decided she was done, and no amount of coaxing could get her to take another bite. (Animals are smarter than humans sometimes are when it comes to food: They always seem to stop eating when they are no longer hungry. Except for dogs … or at least that dear, departed Chico. Diane says it’s “because of the coyotes” — something about instinct and having to eat ALL the food before the coyotes get it.)

I make pretty good spaghetti. I suppose it would qualify as semi-homemade because, yes, I actually do toss in various ingredients — as opposed to opening a jar of Ragu, which I have been known to do, on occasion — but it’s not as if I have my own specific blend of spices and what-not.

My spaghetti involves:

  • 1 to 2 pounds of ground chuck, browned and drained
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced (it helps if you have an ultra-cool garlic press like the one Patti gave me!)
  • a packet of McCormick spaghetti seasoning (mushroom-flavored variety)
  • 1 regular-sized can of Hunt’s tomato sauce
  • 1 smaller can of Hunt’s roasted garlic tomato sauce
  • 1 can of tomato paste (I didn’t use any tonight because I was about to run out of room in my skillet)
  • as much water as you need to add to make the sauce the consistency you want
  • a handful of spaghetti noodles (sometimes I like the regular size, sometimes I like angel hair; depends on my mood)

I like my spaghetti kind of salty (as opposed to sweetish). I would list spaghetti as one of my favorite foods, but believe it or not, for a period of at least 3 or 4 years, I wouldn’t eat it because I’d gotten sick one time after having it and couldn’t bear the thought or sight of it. I gradually began eating spaghetti noodles with butter on them and, eventually, I started liking spaghetti again.

When I was a kid, before any of the aforementioned non-spaghetti-eating took place, we would occasionally order spaghetti takeout from a place called Vincent’s. The pasta had the most wonderful garlicky smell when we brought it home in round white cardboard cartons; every time I make sketti, I try to get it to smell — and taste! — just like Vincent’s.

It never does, but … hey, I like it. And so does my cat.

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