Custom Search



Red Spaghetti

----- Original Message ----- 
From: richard 
Sent: Friday, July 24, 2009 7:36 AM
Subject: Spaghetti Red

My grandmother used to cook in the local school..back in the late 40's early 50's .
she had a recepie for this dish -- made with spaghetti, hamburger, tomatoe sause 
and not sure what else..I thought maybe cheese on top..but not sure and not sure 
of the rest of the ingrediants....any suggestion as to where I might find this? 
It was really grandmother did not write anthing down and unfortunately 
the recepie was only in here memory...thank you..richard  

Hello Richard,

Well, I'm puzzled because I don't see any difference between what you describe and ordinary spaghetti with tomato & meat sauce. "Spaghetti red" or "spaghetti, red" are terms used just to mean spaghetti with a tomato based sauce as opposed to other (spaghetti, white) sauces like alfredo, etc.

The first recipe below was given for the same question that you are asking on a message board, and it's the only recipe that I could find with the actual name of "spaghetti red". Is that it? Maybe without the beans?

The second recipe is actually from a 1950s school cafeteria cookbook. Note that it's an institutional recipe, and serves 100.

The last two are said to be from 1950s school cafeteria recipes, but I have no idea of their provenance.

There is a copycat of a school cafeteria spaghetti recipe here, with photos:

Cafeteria Spaghetti


Spaghetti Red

package (7 ounces) spaghetti 
1 pound lean ground beef 
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup) 
2 cups Progresso® diced tomatoes (from 28-oz can), undrained 
1 can (19 oz) Progresso® red kidney beans, undrained 
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce 
1 tablespoon chili powder 
1 teaspoon salt 
1 1/4 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (5 ounces) 

1. Cook spaghetti as directed on package. While spaghetti is cooking, cook beef 
and onion in 3-quart saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until beef 
is brown and onion is tender; drain. 
2. Stir in tomatoes, beans, tomato sauce, chili powder and salt. Cook uncovered 
over medium heat about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until as thick as you'd like. 
3. Drain spaghetti; divide among dinner plates. Top with beef mixture; sprinkle with cheese.
1950's School Cafeteria Spaghetti Sauce

12 lbs ground beef
5 1/3 ounces dehydrated onions
1/2 cup garlic powder
2 #10 cans tomatoes, with liquid, chopped
1 #10 can tomato paste
5 1/3 ounce beef base
2 2/3 ounces brown sugar
1/4 cup ground basil
1/4 cup chili powder
1/4 cup dried oregano
1/4 cup dried parsley
2 Tab salt
1 tab pepper

Brown ground beef and drain well. Rinse ground beef with hot water and drain well. 
Add onions and garlic powder, cook for 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and simmer 
for 1 hour. 
Yields 100 servings
(School Cafeteria) Italian Spaghetti 

l/2 lb. ground beef 
l/2 lb. bacon 
2 onions
1 green pepper
3 or 4 pieces celery(tops,too)
2 cans tomato paste
1 can tomato sauce
Salt & pepper to taste

Fry bacon slowly until crisp, then place it on an absorbent paper towel. Brown beef 
in bacon grease. Add onions,celery, and green pepper which have all been chopped fine. 
Break the crisp bacon and add it. Then add the tomato paste, sauce and water. Cover and 
let cook slowly for about one hour. Serve over thin spaghetti and sprinkle with grated cheese. 
Serves 6. 

l/2 lb. bacon 
1 bay leaf 
1 large onion 
green pepper
1 red pepper
2 cans tomato paste
1 lb. spaghetti

Fry bacon, crisp, chop onion, red and green pepper and fry until lightly brown. 
Add tomato paste and four cans water, salt and pepper to taste, simmer very slowly 
for about two hours.

Pour over cooked spaghetti and serve very hot.

French Canadian Potatoes

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Bonnie 
Sent: Saturday, July 25, 2009 4:17 PM
Subject: Request

Hi, Phaedrus.  My sister's mother-in-law, who was Canadian-French, used to 
make a potato dish that, phoenetically, was something like "Frick-le-keh-say". 
It involved sliced potatoes, bacon grease, onions, salt and was cooked slowly 
in a pot on the stove.  The starch from the potatoes thickens the liquid into 
a nice sauce, resulting in a very delicious side dish.  I've looked all around 
the internet, but can't come up with a correct spelling or any recipe similar 
to this originating in Canada.  Can you help?  Thanks in advance for your efforts!

- Bonnie 

Hello Bonnie,

I searched dozens of Candadian recipe sites, French Canadian recipe sites and Quebec recipe sites, and I did not find anything at all like what you decscribe or anything with a name similar to that. Sorry.



Another reader, Timm, says this:

RE: French Canadian Potatoes 
I think Bonnie may have the name confused with another dish. "Frick-le-keh-say" or Fricassée 
is usually a poultry dish; although there are some recipes for vegetable Fricassée that usually 
involve wild mushrooms.

I think the recipe she is looking for is called Lyonnaise Potatoes or Potatoes Lyonnaise. 
The dish is usually made with butter but can be made with bacon grease. 

Timm in Oregon

Lyonnaise Potatoes 


4 pounds baking potatoes, baked and cooled, about 4 to 6 large baking potatoes
1 cup bacon fat
2-1/2 pounds Spanish onions, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
Sea salt to taste
White pepper, freshly ground to taste
1 teaspoon fresh curly leaf parsley, chopped


Cut the ends off the potatoes, peel and slice in half lengthwise. Cut each half across 
into 1/4 inch thick slices and set aside

Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. When warm, add half the bacon fat and heat 
until hot. Add half the potatoes and toss. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until light golden brown

Add half the onions, season to taste with salt and pepper, and sauté for 8 to 10 minutes or 
until golden brown. Remove to a large bowl, cover loosely, and set aside to keep warm. Repeat 
to make the second batch with the remaining fat, potatoes, onions and seasoning. When all the 
potatoes are in the bowl, add the parsley and toss. Serve immediately.
Potatoes Lyonnaise


2 pounds baked potatoes, sliced
1/2 cup Spanish onions, sliced
1/8 cup plus 1 tablespoon bacon fat, divided use 
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt 
1/8 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground 
1 teaspoon parsley, freshly chopped


Warm a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1/8 cup of the bacon fat and lay the potatoes down 
in the bacon fat. If the pan is not big enough to hold all of the potatoes you will need to 
cook them in two batches.

While the potatoes are pan frying; working with a separate sauté pan, warm the remaining bacon 
fat over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until lightly caramelized, about 5 minutes.

Once the potatoes are golden brown, flip the individual potato slices. Add the sautéed onions 
and toss well to combine and garnish with the chopped parsley.

You can also find recipes listed as “Pommes Lyonnaise” 
Hi to both of you. 

Yes, when I first heard about this dish, I also thought perhaps the name was just a regional 
or old-fashioned way of saying fricasee.  I'm sure this isn't the case, though.  The recipe 
for Lyonnaise potatoes would result in a brown, crispy potato; my sister's potatoes are 
neither brown nor crispy; they are pale, soft and saucy.  I just had the idea of contacting 
my brother-in-law's older brother and his wife to see if they have any other information. 
My brother-in-law was the youngest by ten years, so his older brother might be able to clear 
this up by virtue of the fact he was around his mom longer.  While this recipe continues to 
be a mystery, I do very much appreciate both of your help!  Should I let you know if I find 
out anything or would you prefer to just let it drop?  Whatever works for you works for me.
Thanks again,

Perhaps Krysta has solved the mystery...

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Krysta 
Sent: Sunday, February 07, 2010 9:05 AM
Subject: French Canadian Potatoes

There is a request in your archive for French Canadian Potatoes (July 25, 2009, from Bonnie).

I think she might be looking for "Fricot Salee" (there are accents in there I cannot make, 
but the phonetics are "free-coh Sah-lay".  

Fricot is typically a sort of stew made with meat (chicken is very popular), potatoes, and 
onions.  Many recipes also include browned flour to thicken the sauce.  Fricot Salee is the 
same dish, but without the meat.  Supposedly made when the hunting had not been so good, or 
when there was no chicken for the pot.

The technique I know calls for browning onions in rendered fat (bacon grease, salt pork, 
what have you).  Add potatoes, and any other veggies you like, then add liquid and allow 
to simmer until it is all tender.  Chicken stock is added almost to cover (water, I suppose 
even wine or beer could be used).  Salted herbs would also be used, but I have no recipe 
for that and I have never used those.

Simmer until the veggies are tender and the liquid has thickened.  To thicken it more or 
make a richer stew, you could add browned flour (a typical french canadian ingredient, I think!). 
Brown some flour in a dry skillet over medium heat until it is light brown, but not burned. 
The thickening power is less than plan flour, but it adds a nice rich flavour.  I would stir 
it into the onion/grease mixture before adding the liquid, myself.

To make the meat version, simply brown your meat in the rendered fat first, then remove to 
a plate.  Continue with the onions, then deglaze with your liquid.  Stir potatoes and veggies 
in, then add the browned meat and any juices back to the pot.  Simmer until the meat is cooked 
through, the veggies are tender, and the juices are thickend, again adding the browned flour 
if wanted.

I hope this is helpful!


Hi Krysta, Your clues led me to this site, which calls the meatless dish "weasel fricot" or "Fricot a la Belette"and gives a recipe. There is also a recipe there for the "Herbes Salees".

Acadian Weasel Fricot - Alas, that link is no longer valid.


Subject: Tofaille
From: Nathaniel 
Date: 11/2/2020, 10:32 AM

Good morning,

I recently just by chance came across an eleven-year-old request for "French Canadian Potatoes." 
There was some discussion as to what that might be—a fricassée, pommes de terre à la lyonnaise, etc. 
I realize this is probably no longer relevant, but I immediately thought of tofaille, which is a 
specialty of the Vosges region of France uncommon elsewhere. Below is a recipe. I do not know 
whether or not you care to publish it in case someone else is searching for it (or even if that 
lady from 2009 is still looking), but I thought I would send it along anyhow. 



Tofaille Vosgienne

2 lb. potatoes
1/2 lb. smoked bacon
2 T. butter
1 shallot or onion
2 cloves garlic
2 large leeks
Salt & pepper
Nutmeg, optional

Slice potatoes into thin disks. Slice bacon thin, then split the leeks and cut into slices 
(including the pale green). Butter a casserole, and fill it alternately with the potatoes, 
leeks and bacon, seasoning each layer with chopped shallot, garlic, salt, pepper, and dash 
of nutmeg. Cover the casserole and cook over low heat for 1 1/2 hours.

Noodles from Crackers

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Phyllis 
Sent: Monday, July 27, 2009 4:38 PM
Subject: noodles

My grandmother was Slovak and would make noodles from white soda crackers. 
They were awesome. All I could remember as a young child was she would crush 
the crackers up and add something to the crackers to make them moist and then 
put this filling made from the crackers in the meat grinder and grind out long 
noodles then cooked them.
Thanks for listening.

Hi Phyllis,

Sorry, I had no success with this.


Timm sent this recipe:

Noodles from Crackers:

When I was young, a Jewish neighbor lady would make noodles with matzah crackers or sometimes 
Saltine crackers. She would grind the crackers into a fine meal or flour.

To make the noodles use 2 cups ground crackers and 2 large eggs.

Sift the meal onto a clean, preferably wooden surface. Make a well and drop 2 eggs into the well. 
(Add salt if using matzah). With your hands, work the flour and egg mixture into a dough, similar 
to bread dough. Clean the surface, dust lightly with flour and knead the dough for 5 to 10 minutes 
until the surface is smooth and elastic. Cut dough into 4 sections. Roll each section one at a time 
on a flour surface with a floured rolling pin until thin. Cut the pasta into any shapes you desire. 
I imagine the dough could be put through a meat grinder to spin out noodles.

Timm in Oregon

Original Hamburger Recipe

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Paula
To: Phaedrus 
Sent: Sunday, July 26, 2009 2:39 PM
Subject: Hamburger Recipe

Hi there,

I recently watched a program on TV about a "Hamburger Festival" in Akron, Ohio 
and learned that the hamburger was inventer there.  They interviewed the man who's 
grandfather (?) created the hamburger and he said the secret ingredients were coffee 
and brown sugar!  That certainly piqued my curiosity.  Do you have a recipe for this 
hamburger mixture???

Thank you again for your assistance.


Hi Paula,

Sorry, the only folks who have that recipe are the Menches brothers of Ohio. You can taste the burgers at their Menches Brothers Restaurant. Their grandfather's recipe had brown sugar, coffee, and other spices, and was first sold by Frank and Charles Menches at the 1885 Erie County Fair in Hamburg, New York. The recipe was lost for years until their descendants found a copy in their attic. There is a "tastes-like" recipe below.

The origin of the hamburger is not settled, though. See here for other contenders:

Hamburger History


Original Hamburger "tastes-like" recipe

2 pounds ground sirloin
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup instant coffee

Combine beef, sugar and coffee in a bowl and refrigerate, covered, for an hour or more to incorporate the flavors.

Grill to your liking.

Morrison's Spanish Mackerel

Spanish Mackerel Like Morrison's Cafeteria

2 Spanish mackerel fillets, skin on, bones removed 
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon milk
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon paprika

Place mackerel skin-side down in a buttered baking dish. Mix the mayonnaise with the 
milk and spread on top of the fish. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and paprika. Cover and 
refrigerate 30 minutes. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Bake fish until done, about 10 minutes 
per inch of thickness; the fish is ready when the flesh becomes opaque and can easily be 
pierced with a fork. Makes 2 servings.


Copyright (c) 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 Phaedrus