Mexican Spaghetti

Posted on Oct 20 2010 - 7:04am by RetroRuth

Welcome again to another exciting, spine-tingling episode of the Mid-Century Menu.  This is a great one for two reasons.  Well…three actually. The first reason is that Sara and her husband Mike helped us make this Menu.  So it was tons of fun.  The second is that this is the much-anticipated “Mexican Spaghetti” I was shooting my mouth off about last week. 

And the third reason kind of grows out of that second reason.  I think this is the first Mid-Century Menu where the NAME of the dish is completely inaccurate. It turns out that Mexican Spaghetti is not Mexican. Or spaghetti.  So figure that one out.

Anyway, this is from the great cookbook Prize Winning Recipes, published by American Beauty Macaroni.  This cookbook has brought us some classics from the past, such as Mexican Macaroni Casserole (loaded with sour cream) and Macaroni Loaf (a favorite of the Detroit Public School system). 

Now, we venture onward with Mexican Spaghetti.  Or maybe backward.  All I know is that we are going somewhere…

But it isn’t any fun.

I like the olive and parsley garnish.  It really makes it classy.

Okay, ham, elbow macaroni, peas.  Yep, we have everything we need for a Mexican feast!

Thanks to my excellent photographers (Go Sara and Tom!) the transformation from a nonsensical pile of ingredients to delectable Mexican main dish is well documented.  You barely even need me at all!  Well, maybe a little. Mostly because I was wearing a cute apron.  Anyway, enjoy the time-honored tradition of making Mexican Spaghetti!

Ta-da!  Finished!!  A Mexican Masterpiece!


Cramming it in.

“Enjoying” the Mexican flavor.


Going back for more.

The Verdict:  Not horrible, definitely edible. We all ate a serving of it, even though it was almost 10:30 at night and we were full from the Lindsey Cheese.  The “Mexican Spaghetti” pretty much tasted like macaroni with ham and canned tomatoes.  Not bad, but nothing exciting either.  The cheese was kind of a gross addition, but I just ate around it.

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I love everything retro, vintage, mid-century, kitsch and all things atomic! A 21st century housewife just trying to fit the 50's. I have a passion for vintage recipes and an enormous vintage cookbook collection that I keep testing, even though by now I should know better. Creator of Mid-Century Menu (, No Pattern Required (, and I Ate The 80's (

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11 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Deb October 20, 2010 at 8:34 am - Reply

    Great to see you all together!

  2. Sara in AZ October 20, 2010 at 10:59 am - Reply

    Oh, what a blast to make this with you Ruth!!!

    I LOVE that pic of Tom “enjoying the Mexican flavor” 🙂 and almost lauging his butt off!!! I have to say, nothing spells Mexican more than peas and ham with noodles! 🙂 But, all in all, it did not taste bad.

    Thanks again for everything and for being such lovely hosts!

  3. Annie B. October 20, 2010 at 11:16 am - Reply

    That’s definitely a cute apron, Ruth! Cute little ballerina slippers you have on, too. Very ’50’s.

    Love the guitar graphic on the recipe page.

    This looks to me very much like that old recipe I used to concoct at the end of the month (when there was more month than money…)for which I would scape the very bottom of the cabinets, the one which shoud’ve been entitled, “It WILL Keep You Alive”.

    You guys are a hoot! Love these photos!!

  4. Amy M October 20, 2010 at 11:56 am - Reply

    Hmm.. well it sounds edible… But certainly not Mexican LOL… Maybe the green peppers were where they got that from?

    Is that your real kitchen? If so it is picture perfect and I am sooo jealous. 🙂

  5. Andrea October 20, 2010 at 1:41 pm - Reply

    LOL, it’s a good thing that you labeled Tom’s picture as laughing, as I first thought he was grimacing!

  6. RetroRuth October 20, 2010 at 5:43 pm - Reply

    Hi Deb! It was a great day. *sigh* Not sure when Sara, Jan and I will all be together again. Until then, I have memories. And pictures! Sniff!

    Sara – I must say the weekend was a blast, even if it was hectic and way, way too short! I am seriously thinking about Jan’s offer of a FL get-together. Do you hear me, J-J??? 🙂

    Annie B – Thanks, girl! My apron was from my mother-in-law, and the apron Sara has on in the last pic was made by my mother. Didn’t want to play favorites, so they were both on the field! 🙂 And I am pretty sure I know that “It Will Keep You Alive” casserole. Growing up it was usually a big pot of bean soup!

    Amy – It was totally edible, but not exactly enjoyable. 🙂 No clue where the Mexican came from on that one. Most likely left-field. And yup, that is my real kitchen! I am a lucky, lucky girl.

    Andrea – I think it was a combo of laughing and wincing. There was American cheese in this one. 🙂

  7. Eartha October 21, 2010 at 10:14 am - Reply

    That recipe looks…very intriguing! I love these meet-up photos. I’m glad that y’all could get together. And that kitchen…I wish that we could bottle it and sell it.

  8. Kellie October 21, 2010 at 11:41 am - Reply

    I look forward to every edition of the mid-century menu and this one certainly didn’t disappoint 🙂 How anyone could come up with this combination of ingredients astounds me!

  9. Jamie in Hollywood October 21, 2010 at 2:13 pm - Reply

    I, too wonder how they made up these recipes and how they came up with names that have no correlation to the dish! The pictures are always so clear, which is enjoyable. I have yet to see Tom smile in any of them! If I remember anything from that time it was the jello salads and sandwiches made from Wonder bread. Anyway, like Kellie I look forward to each edition so keep ’em comming!

  10. Miss Marwood October 22, 2010 at 1:07 pm - Reply

    I looked at this week’s menu with my little daughter and she said “MMMH SAKETTI!!!” Spaghetti it is then! 🙂

    I think anything would taste nice in that gorgeous kitchen of yours, Ruth!

    Fun to see you all together 🙂

  11. sablemable October 24, 2010 at 6:05 pm - Reply

    Did you snap the photos, Saraaaaaaaaaaa? Look very professional.

    My favorite shot was of you, Ruth, with the can opener. Classic!

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