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How To Cook Spaghetti Sauce

how to cook spaghetti sauce

John's "Bowl of Red" Chili

John's "Bowl of Red" Chili

John’s “Bowl of Red” Chili


Please read this section CAREFULLY before you make this recipe.

This is not Texas braggadocio; this is not melodrama; this is not exaggeration.

Do NOT…DO NOT…bend over the pot and smell the wonderful aroma of the peppers as you “sweat” them.

THERE IS A REASON that the chefs in the cooking shows wear respirators over their faces when they’re cooking with extremely hot peppers. It’s not for show. I made the mistake, ONCE, of bending down over the pot and inhaling the steam arising from the peppers as I sweated them, and I seriously thought I was going to have to call 911 and tap out SOS on the phone!!! I could not breathe, talk, or swallow for many scary seconds! It was about thirty seconds before I could breathe at all; it was another good thirty seconds on top of that before I could swallow; and when my voice came back it was raspy for several minutes.


Also, the vapors from sweating these peppers and other vegetables is going to fill your whole house. When I made this today I had the air conditioner on, the ceiling fan on high, and the stove’s vent hood fan on high, and yet when the old lady came in from outside she gasped and said, “Oh my god! I don’t think I can breathe!”

Also, most people know to take the precaution of wearing rubber gloves when they handle raw peppers such as jalapenos; I don’t, for the simple reason that the juice from the hottest peppers (and we will be using one of the world’s hottest in this recipe) does not burn me. However, if you choose not to wear gloves you should understand that no matter how many times you wash your hands and with what for the rest of the day, hours and hours later when you reach up to rub your eye you will find yourself in excruciating pain, myself included.

Don’t tweak this recipe. It will not taste right if you do. Trust me, I know, as this is the result of me having tweaked this recipe for over a decade. This is my own, original recipe.


You’ll need a medium-size stockpot about 5 inches deep; that’s the one that you will cook the chili in.

You’ll also need a large pan or pot full of water. Bring the water to a boil now, as you will add it in momentarily.

You’ll need 2 jalapenos; 1 (or 2, to taste) habaneros; 1 small onion; 1 small bell pepper; 6 cloves of garlic; chili powder; cumin; a bottle of ketchup; an 8-oz can of tomato sauce; 1 to 1-1/2 pounds of ground meat (not “chili meat;" you don’t want cubes or chunks of meat, but regular old ground meat); 1 stick of butter; 2 small bowls.

Remove the stems from the peppers, but do not take the seeds or the membranes out.

Finely chop:
1 jalapeno
1 habanero
1 slice of onion about ?-inch thick
1 slice of bell pepper about ?-inch thick
3 cloves of garlic
Place these ingredients together into one of the small bowls, and set aside.

Now, again, finely chop:
1 jalapeno
(The other habanero if you desire 2)
1 slice of onion about ?-inch thick
1 slice of bell pepper about ?-inch thick
3 cloves of garlic
Place these ingredients into the other small bowl, and set aside.

Into the dry cooking pot (NOT the pot of boiling water!) place about 1/3 of a stick of butter.

Turn the heat on medium low until the butter melts and begins a little sizzle. Then add all of the contents of one of the small bowls of the above ingredients into the pot and cook until the onions are translucent, stirring occasionally. DON’T INHALE THE VAPORS!!!

When the onion in the first set of ingredients is translucent and the vegetables have sweated out nicely, crumble in 1 to 1-1/2 pounds of ground beef, raise the heat, and stir the meat well until it browns.

Next stir in 8 ounces of tomato sauce (NOT paste), 16 ounces of ketchup (you’ll want the sweet later, trust me!), and enough of the boiling water to come about an inch or two above all of the ingredients. You don’t want a soupy soup, but you don’t want this to be thick and gummy, either.

Simmer uncovered over low heat, stirring frequently. You want a good deal of evaporation to occur, and it’s okay if you have to keep boiling some water and adding it in periodically to keep things from getting too thick and gummy, but the end result should be that you’ve simmered enough of the water out of the chili so that it is really thick and meaty, but with enough juice to be enjoyable. The evaporative process will also ensure that the flavors concentrate somewhat.

You’re going to simmer this pot of chili for about 45 minutes to an hour, stirring occasionally, and halfway toward the end of the cooking cycle throw in the other chopped ingredients from the other small bowl (the other peppers, onion, and garlic).

About 10-15 minutes before you’re going to remove the chili from the heat throw in about a tablespoon or two each of chili powder and cumin. Mix in well, and allow to cook another 10-15 minutes.

When it’s done serve with crackers, cornbread, or just eat by itself. You can drain the juice off

Shows bites of "Spaghetti & Meatball Dinner on a stick."

Shows bites of "Spaghetti & Meatball Dinner on a stick."

I'm at the state fair!! People hear about "spaghetti & meatballs on a stick" & everybody wants to know how that happens.

Here's what happens: Strands of cooked spaghetti get worked into the meatball while it's being formed. It ends up looking like a meatball with white worms slithering around inside among the meat.

The meatball gets cooked, then it's dipped in dough & deepfried. Then comes marinara.

It gets presented in a paper tray plus a wooden stick jammed up it. I added parmesan.

Despite the stick a fork is useful. It tastes better than it looks but it doesn't taste good.

Costs $4 & you can sit cross-legged on a sidewalk while you eat it. Maybe you'll find a shady spot the same way I did.


Purchased from "Oodles of Noodles," inside the "Food Building" at the Minnesota State Fair in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, on August 25th, 2008.

? Tim Kiser 2008 / All rights reserved.

how to cook spaghetti sauce

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