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Spaghetti Red?

My Grammy today was talking about foods from her childhood, and said her mother took her recipe for "Spaghetti Red" to the grave. When I inquired, she said it was like a spicier version of spaghetti. I've never heard of it. Anyone have a recipe?

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    1. re: Antilope

      Here's a working link (from the Wayback Machine) for the middle broken link in my original message:

      Spaghetti Red - link on Wayback Machine

    2. Funny, that middle link calls for 2 pounds of meat and 'a cup of cooked spaghetti'!
      I'm sure it's a mistake, that's how much I leave when I'm done!

      But I'm glad you posted this Spaghetti Red thread!
      Interesting stuff--- and another fun thing to do with pasta!

      I dig!

      1. I have read all of the recipes linked in response to your post and even though they are similar to the dish I used to order that was called Spaghetti Red, it's not exactly the same. The restaurant that served it was located in Houston, TX and I can't for the life of me remember the name as it was about 30 years ago that I last dined there and I'm not sure it's still in business. Anyway, the Spaghetti Red they served was cooked spaghetti with chili poured over it and a large approximate ladel-full of traditional red spaghetti sauce on top of that. Then the whole dish was sprinkled with freshly grated cheese, either mozzarella or fresh parmesan (I can't remember for sure). You could probably use Jack or a Mexican blend too. It was served with garlic toast and a green salad and was really, really tasty! I have made it this way at home too and it's nearly as good as what that restaurant served. You might try it both ways and see which suits you best.

        1. My boss's mom used to make him what she called spaghetti red but it was KETCHUP on spaghetti. Gross, huh?

          1 Reply
          1. re: ChrisKC

            thats gross. my grandparents would roll over in their graves.

          2. Just use this as your spaghetti sauce:


            Remember, if it's got beans in it, it ain't chili

            1. My Mom used to make this when we were just kids back in the 1950's. I never heard of it since then. I also want to make it. But all these versions are not right compared to hers. I believe she used onions, tomato sauce and canned tomatoes with Italian seasoning and Oregano. No meat! that is why it was called Spaghetti Red. Just tomato sauce onions, tomatos and spaghetti. She made it when times were hard and didn't always have enough meat for every day, but we never went hungry.

              1 Reply
              1. re: jimant60

                You are right! It was my father's thing to make for us. Difference is, no meat, contains green peppers, onion, tomato sauce, red pepper (Cayenne) salt, pepper and garlic. It all goes in the big skillet, where you sauteed the vegetables, added the spices and the spaghetti and served with grated cheese (If you had it!) My father started making it during World War II and his recipe was in his head (most of mine are too) . Just chop and saute the veggies first. I still love it!

              2. I am from the midwest and Spaghetti Red is a common favorite. It is spaghetti covered in a greasy chili, served with hamburger pickle slice, onion slices, crackers and sometimes mustard if you like. The following recipe is just like the chili served at my favorite place that had the BEST Spaghetti Red I have ever had.

                3 pounds of the highest fat content ground beef you can find.
                (Ground Chuck will NOT work! And if you plan to try making this recipe with "healthier" stuff, please stop now!)

                1.5 packages of Williams Chili Seasoning (or approximately 1/2 cup).

                1.5 teaspoon garlic salt

                1.5 teaspoon of ground cumin

                1 tube (1/4 of a box) of crushed saltine crackers.

                Brown the hamburger meat and add the chili seasoning, garlic salt and cumin and simmer for 15 minutes. DO NOT DRAIN OFF THE FAT!!!!

                Add the tube of crushed saltine crackers and one quart( I used 3 cups water) of water to the simmering meat and spices. Mix well together and simmer for 1 hour. Add extra salt if needed.

                Simmering time is very important, so do not rush it!
                Serve on top of cooked spaghetti noodles, would be awesome on top of hot dogs also.

                9 Replies
                1. re: Armywife76

                  What ground beef can you find that has more fat than chuck?

                  1. re: King of Northern Blvd

                    King of Northern Blvd. you are right on that, I use what ever meat is in my freezer, I don't think it was chuck though and it turned out greasy and great. A friend gave me this recipe and that is just how it was written. I never really had payed attention.,I say use what kind you want, it will still be good.

                  2. re: Armywife76

                    Williams Chili seasoning is the best. My grandmother knew the people that made it.

                    They have spaghetti red at Fred and Red's in Joplin, Mo and I think claim to have originated it. It is their chili on spaghetti. They serve the crackers warm. Love it.

                    1. re: wekick

                      Fred and Red's was exactly the place I was talking about! The recipe I posted comes close to theirs, but not quite the same. I now live at Fort Bliss in Texas and make it when I am craving Fred and Red's. And yes Williams is the best!

                      1. re: wekick

                        It would be interesting to see who made this first, Fred and Red's or Skyline Chili in OH or Chili Mac at Hard Times.

                        1. re: wekick

                          Fred and Red's is closed now, so everyone in Joplin is trying to recreate this. I miss it so much! We have a place close by in Burbank, CA, but I want to make it myself...I'm trying this recipe!!!

                          1. re: apriljane700

                            I would tend to think that the ingredients would have to be something that was available in 1923 when Fred and Reds came into existence. The recipe is probably older than that. I think Charlie's Grill in Neosho, Mo has a similar tasting chili and they also have Spaghetti Red.

                        2. re: Armywife76

                          I did forget to mention that you want to stir the meat often while browning it so it is not big chunks, you want it to be a meat type sauce texture, like hot dog chili.

                          1. re: Armywife76

                            I think this is interesting because I've lived in the midwest for all of my 54 years (southern IL) and have never, ever heard of spaghetti red. Go figure.

                          2. My Italian friend makes her spaghetti sauce with just tomato paste sauteed in olive oil and garlic and diluted with some water. I imagine she must have seasoned it more. When I was a kid I remember my aunt used to make it the same way. Neither one called it Spaghetti Red, but it sure seems like Spaghetti Red to me.

                            1. I'm a Grammy, too and my Father used to make red spaghetti for us every other Friday night...the next week he would pick up great BBQ ribs and bring them home. I am 77 and still get hungry for it and fix it. I've never measured it

                              Red spaghetti has tomato past, green peppers, chili powder, onion salt, and cayenne pepper. Olive oil in frying pan, you fry spaghetti in it that has been partially cooked. You "fry" the spaghetti for a couple of minutes, then add the above and finish cooking. It is a very spicy dish but I loved it.Be sure you put olive oil in so it isn't too dry!

                              Years later when I was taking care of my father, he still fixed this for me about one time a month. Have fun. Great memories! (forgot to tell you no meat!)

                              Hope this helps you. Patti

                              1. Sounds like something Cousin Eddie would get at a cheap Las Vegas buffet.
                                "Clark...This is all you can eat..we only need one plate."
                                "Best 1.49 booffet in town"
                                "You're lucky we came on I-talian night"

                                1. Don't know....Dad was from Belleville, Illinois! There was plenty of money and plenty of servants so don't think he made it because it was cheap! Probably the only meal he had ever made! He was born in 1908.

                                  1. This sounds like chili mac from what I am gathering, which here in Ohio is probably most famously served at Skyline Chili from Cincinnati. Their chili is also known as a "Greek" style chili, which has a distinct flavor to it, with ingredients such as cinnamon. The Steak & Shake chain of restaurants around here also sells their chili over spaghetti as well.