No, this is NOT a vegetarian dish! I rarely get away with that! This was another one of those "use what you have" meals. I had planned to make spaghetti with meat sauce one evening, but when I started thinking about it more--and looking in my fridge to see what else I had available--I decided to make it a meat and vegetable sauce. I really didn't feel guilty about having a big plate of this since I topped my pasta with all those veggies and protein! This is such an adaptable meal--add in whichever veggies you like to make it suit your tastes. For example, instead of squash and zucchini (leftover from the Italian Stew night), you could add in bell peppers, broccoli, carrots, or sugar snap peas. You could also use whole wheat pasta to add another layer of healthiness to the dish! Let me know what you come up with! Enjoy!
Hearty Vegetable Spaghetti
1 lb spaghetti
1/2 lb ground beef
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 squash, diced
1 zucchini, diced
1 4oz can sliced mushrooms
2 tsp each onion powder, oregano, thyme
28 oz can whole tomatoes OR 1 jar marinara sauce (if you're using the marinara sauce, just use 1 teaspoon each of the onion powder, oregano, and thyme)
salt and pepper to taste
Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, brown beef 3-4 minutes. Add the squash, zucchini, garlic, and mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper and the onion powder, oregano, and thyme. Cook together until the veggies are tender, about 7-10 minutes. Add in the can of tomatoes (or marinara sauce) and break up the tomatoes into smaller chunks. Simmer together about 5-7 minutes, or until sauce thickens a bit. Toss the sauce with the cooked spaghetti and garnish with the grated Parmesan.