Recipe: Northern Italian Spaghetti (NIS)

When I was little, I had a very best friend. I talked about her here.

Often we would have dinner at each other’s houses. I loved eating at her house, especially when they had Northern Italian Spaghetti. It was my favorite meal.

I lost track of my friend Jennie for years, but thought often of her and the Northern Italian Spaghetti! I tried to find recipes online to mimic it – but none could.

Then Facebook came along. If Facebook does nothing else in my life, it reunited me with Jennie. And Northern Italian Spaghetti. Our first exchange went something like this: “Oh my gosh! It’s been years! How are you? Can I have the recipe for Northern Italian Spaghetti”?

And ever since, it has been a staple. We call it “NIS” for short around here. We have made some alterations – as the cream required in it hurts my tummy and Zach’s as well. Not as good with 2% milk – but still tasty. There is also supposed to be chicken livers in it – but that’s never an option round here (I’m not sure I knew about those when I was eating it as a kid either!). I also substitute apple juice for wine since I don’t have wine lying around the house. So in fact, I probably have destroyed the real recipe, but it is still darn tasty!

Northern Italian Spaghetti Sauce

1 cup chopped onion
½ cup chopped celery
½ cup chopped carrots
10 slices bacon, cooked until crisp, chopped small

Combine bacon, onions, celery, carrots and cook in a bit of oil until soft. Remove from stove and set aside.

1 package ground beef (extra lean)
1 package porc

Cook meat together. Drain well.

½ cup white wine (or apple juice can work too)

Add juice/wine to meat and let boil. Add bacon and cooked veggies to this mixture.

2 cups beef broth or 1 10 oz can consommé undiluted.
1 can tomato paste

Add broth and tomato paste to meat, bacon and veggie mixture. Bring to boil. Reduce to low.

1 cup heavy cream (or any kind of milk)

When almost ready to serve, add 1 cup heavy cream/milk.

Serve over your favorite pasta. Spaghettini is my preference.

One cute side note: When I was cutting the vegetables up for this meal, Zach came in to ask me a question about his homework. He started to ask me, then stopped and said “Oh, be careful Mom, that’s a sharp knife”:)

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