One of my most favorite people in the whole world, my dear friend Ella, first cooked this for my birthday about 6 years ago. It was when I was going through a really rough time, and there is nothing like a delicious home cooked meal to warm the heart and heal the injured spirit. I found the meal so delicious that I asked her for the recipe. Mario’s Special Spaghetti was one of the first dishes that I cooked for MM when we were dating. It’s in his top five favorite dinners that I cook, and I probably make it 2 times a month. What’s even better is that the Big One loves it too. When I have a dish that both MM and the Big One request, it instantly becomes a go-to dinner in my household. As you problem know– we like pasta recipes around here, so Mario’s Special Spaghetti is a big hit for us.
I asked Ella if I could share the recipe on my blog and asked her about its official name. We just call it “Ella’s pasta dish” in our house. She gave me permission to share it, and said that she got the recipe from her grandmother who referred to it as “Mario’s Special Spaghetti.” Neither Ella nor her grandmother know who Mario is.
It takes me about 45 minutes to cook dinner if I’m serving this. I generally cook baby sweet peas with it, as everyone in our house will eat peas. I like mixing peas in with my pasta, but the boys don’t. Mario’s Special Spaghetti would go great with a side salad, but not everyone in our house likes to eat side salads!
1 lb of Ground Beef *I generally use 1.25, but the recipe calls for 1lb*
1/4 cup Bread Crumbs
1/8 tsp Black Pepper
Dash Garlic Salt
2 Tbsp Flour
1/2 cup water
1 can Beef Consomme Soup
1 cup Red Wine *To reduce dishes, I just fill the empty can of soup with red wine to nearly the top.*
1 box Corkscrew Pasta
1/4 cup butter (1/2 of a stick) *I generally use more like 2/3 of a stick of butter*
1/4 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese *We generally use more*
1/4 cup Finely Chopped Parsley
Grate Parmesan cheese and chop parsley and set them aside. (I mix them in a single bowl to speed things up, but you don’t have to.)
Mix ground beef, egg, bread crumbs, black pepper, and garlic flour in a bowl. Add water. Brown meat mixture in skillet, adding flour to thicken mixture.
Once meat is browned, pour in Beef Consomme Soup and red wine. Stir mixture as it comes to a boil. Once boiling, allow sauce to simmer for 20 minutes. Cook box of paste. (This recipe uses the entire box of corkscrew pasta. We’ve tried other types of pasta, but to me, it doesn’t taste quite right without the “corkscrew” pasta.) Stir sauce periodically as it simmers.
Cut butter into small slices. After draining cooked pasta, mix butter, cheese, parsley and pasta together. To complete this step, I have found that deliberate “layering” works best. Otherwise, you end up with a big glob of buttery, melted cheese. I take an empty bowl and put 1/4 of butter, cheese and parsley into it, then put 1/4 of pasta on top of it. Then I put 1/4 of butter/cheese/parsley on top of pasta, and so forth. Let the pasta sit for 2-3 minutes while the cheese and butter melt before mixing it up.
Serve pasta with sauce on top. The recipe makes enough for me, MM and the Big One with plenty of leftovers for me and MM to eat for lunch the next day. I am guessing the recipe would serve 5-6 easily, particularly with 1-2 veggie side dishes. Yum!