Spaghetti with meat sauce

I can't believe I haven't posted a recipe for spaghetti with red meat sauce till my co-worker requested me to post it.  That was after she tasted my spaghetti lunch yesterday.  Sometimes I'd just mention making some and post pictures but never with an actual recipe. Anyway, I've made spaghetti in different sauces but with red, I love it with meatballs, Ox & Palm corned beef or Italian sausage.  I could make it from scratch or use marinara sauce or store-bought spaghetti sauce which I would tweak to enhance the flavors.  My spaghetti sauce is a mixture of creamy and cheesy with a hint of sweetness so I would balance it out by using red pepper flakes for spice; and for the final touch- chopped herbs like sweet basil, oregano and parsley.  Here's how to make it :-)

Spaghetti with Meat Sauce
1 lb spaghetti cooked according to package instructions. (For myself, I cook my pasta no more than 9 minutes. Boil water seasoned with sea salt. Add the pasta when it's rolling - don't break them, I find it obscene when I see them broken to small pieces. The rolling will stop as you add the pasta to the water but will start boiling again after a while and that's when you time it for ten minutes. Do not rinse the pasta after draining. I would toss  it with a little butter to keep them from sticking together.

2 lb lean ground beef (or with the least fat)
2 rounds olive or canola oil to coat the pan
 2 cans marinara sauce
 1 medium onion, chopped
 3 cloves of garlic minced
 2 tsp sea salt
 1 tsp ground pepper
 1 tsp red pepper flakes or more to suit your taste
 1 tsp dried oregano
 1 tsp dried sweet basil
 4 oz or half a pkg cream cheese
 1 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese
 1-2 packets Splenda or Equal

Heat olive or canola oil in a non-stick sauce pan over medium high heat
Add the ground beef and break the meat with the back of your spoon. Sauté until light golden brown
Add the onion and keep sautéing until it becomes translucent
 Add the garlic and cook until fragrant
 Add the salt, pepper, oregano, red pepper flakes and sweet basil
 Pour in the marinara sauce and rinse off the cans or bottles with 2 cups water and pour into the mix as well (if you have scraped off the bottles or cans clean with a rubber spatula, then just add the water)
 Stir and allow to simmer. Reduce heat when it becomes bubbly, stirring occasionally
 Let cook for twenty minutes and add the Splenda. Taste if it needs more salt
 Add the cream cheese and grated Parmesan
 Turn off the heat and sprinkle chopped parsley
Serving suggestion:
 Ladle sauce first in a serving platter before putting the pasta then more sauce and grated cheese on top. Garnish with a sprig of parsley or chop


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