1940s Southern Spaghetti Recipe – Old Cookbook Show – Glen And Friends Cooking

1940s Southern Spaghetti Recipe – Old Cookbook Show – Glen And Friends Cooking
This recipe comes from a late 1930s or early 1940 – 1942 cookbook published in the American South. Titled ‘Southern Spaghetti’ it has garnered a lot of email and comments (most of them deleted because of the profanity) that always start with some form of “I’m from the SOUTH and this is not Southern Spaghetti!!!”. Ok I get it this may not be a recipe that your family makes today… but in the 100s of historical cookbooks I own from the American South; this is a recipe that appears over and over, almost always made the same way as this one. These are recipe books stretching back to the early 1800s – so historically this must have been one of the ways that spaghetti was eaten in the ‘South’. What many people fail to realise is that cooking changes, and the pace of that change has only accelerated since the 1950s. Many of the recipes that we think of as Traditional would be unrecognisable to our Great Grandparents.

Ingredients:
½ lb spaghetti
½ lb bacon, diced
3 onions, sliced
1 ½ lbs chopped raw beef
2 green peppers, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
½ can kidney beans
½ can peas
½ can tomatoes
½ lb cheese chopped
½ can mushrooms, fresh or dried
Salt and Pepper
Boil the spaghetti. Place bacon in skillet, fry out fat, add onions, and fry to a golden brown. Add meat and vegetables and simmer a few minutes. Cover bottom of buttered baking dish with a layer of the boiled spaghetti, cover with a layer of the prepared mixture, repeat, having the last layer spaghetti, sprinkled with a little cheese. Bake in a slow oven about two hours.

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Comment (20)

  1. This recipe comes from a late 1930s or early 1940 – 1942 cookbook published in the American South. Titled 'Southern Spaghetti' it has garnered a lot of email and comments (most of them deleted because of the profanity) that always start with some form of "I'm from the SOUTH and this is not Southern Spaghetti!!!". Ok I get it this may not be a recipe that your family makes today… but in the 100s of historical cookbooks I own from the American South; this is a recipe that appears over and over, almost always made the same way as this one. These are recipe books stretching back to the early 1800s – so historically this must have been one of the ways that spaghetti was eaten in the 'South'. What many people fail to realise is that cooking changes, and the pace of that change has only accelerated since the 1950s. Many of the recipes that we think of as Traditional would be unrecognisable to our Great Grandparents.

  2. Pasta isn't uniquely Italian anyway- noodles have been used in Asia for thousands of years. Having lived in Alabama and Mississippi for most of my adult life, I agree that this isn't typically "southern": it's way too healthy– no dripping- or butter-based gravy. It may have been an attempt to make it more healthy.

  3. Maybe if foil was used the spaghetti would not have gotten crunchy. A recipe that I Preheat oven to 325 degree fahrenheit 1 box of uncooked shaped pasta, 1 jar of pasta sauce (we like Prego) and a jar and a half to 2 jars of water, I like ground beef and onions in mine (which I do cook on the stove). Take a 9X13" pan add the uncooked pasta, dump in the ground beef onion, the jar of pasta sauce and water then stir together cover pan with foil put in the oven and cook for an hour and a quarter to hour and a half.

  4. You could always do a carbon dating on the pages…
    My 'southern' spaghetti… A big can of greens (instead of tomato sauce) and some spicy Cajun sausage over spaghetti….
    Yeah, I would not have put (half cooked) noodles on top, what were you thinking???

  5. Love your videos, i hardly ever comment but very seldom miss one.
    Dont worry about the hate mail,bad comments ,whatever.
    Obviously people who are miserable with themselves and thier life trying to ruin something for someone else.
    Misery loves company .

  6. I use Indian and Chinese spices and ingredients in all kinds of "western" style meals. They're ingredients. That's all they are. Nowhere is it written that you can't adapt them to your own cooking, authenticity be danged. In the 1950's soy sauce, for an example, was only used on La Choy Chow Mein in most American households. I've used it here and there in soups, stews, all kinds of things – not heavily! – where I want a hint of umami or saltiness without adding more salt. I add just enough to make people think "What is that?" – rather than, "Ah, soy sauce!"

    About six weeks ago I was making a beef stew, but when I went looking for cumin, realized I forgot to buy more. Then I noticed my curry blend in the pantry and said, "I bet that will work great!" – and transformed my "traditional" beef stew into a sort of an Americanized curry. It turned out great! I likely offended not one, but at least two or three cultures at one stroke, but I don't care. Authenticity is great but winging it and coming up with something on your own is fun too – especially when you need to finish cooking something and you cannot just leave and go to the store.

  7. I am thinking that the can sizes were much larger then now. Beans now have 14 fl oz and 19 fl oz. 30 to 40 years ago the cans were 16 fl oz and 32 fl oz. In the last few months a huge down sizing has taken place. For instance whipping cream was 250 ml now they are 234 ml but the price is the same as the 250 ml. So any recipes that call for a whole or part of a container will not be the same as when the recipes were written. People we are being screwed over.

  8. I love you guys. Haters are gonna hate. And maybe because they are jealous of your skills, or your hospitality and knowledge of food and the history. I think you are so incredibly accurate about the fusion foods explanation. 100%. And boo hoo to those crying that this isn't that or this, or their dead ancestors are flipping in their graves. Get over it and enjoy food!

  9. My version of spaghetti that I learned from my mother and grandmother, we cooked the ground beef/chuck first, then sauted the onions, then the green peppers, and added marjoram, oregano and "Italian seasoning" (US, lol it contained all the "Italian" seasoning, I guess? lmao)And in US you can literally buy a jar of "Italian Seasoning" by McCormick. Then 2 cans of Hunt's tomato sauce (the plain one). We did not bake it though……it's like they're trying to make a casserole out of a dish that does not require it. Also, who in the hell cooks any pasta for 25 min? That would be gross. We cooked the pasta according to the package and then put it all in the sauce and mixed it up. I know for a fact this isn't traditional spaghetti, but if the version they served at our wedding as "vegetarian" where it was just tomato sauce on noodles, then I don't want traditional spaghetti.

    Edited to add: How does every Grandma have the same handwriting? This literally looks like my Grandma's cookbook. I know it's not since my Grandma would never boil spaghetti for 25 min. Or bother to try and make it a casserole. Brown your meat, throw in the veg and tomato sauce while the water is boiling, throw in the drained spaghetti, boom, done. No need to bake shit. Lol.

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