Gather around children, and let me tell you a frightening tale. The tale of Irish-Italian Spaghetti!

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AuthorRetroRuth
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From Better Homes & Gardens, January, 1940, Submitted by Mrs. George T. Laughlin, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio

Tested Recipe!

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 1 small onion, chopped
 2 tbsp salad or olive oil
 1 pound ground beef
 1 tsp salt
 ¼ tsp black pepper
 1 dash red pepper
 ½ tsp chili powder
 ½ tsp Tabasco sauce
 10 ½ oz can condensed cream of mushroom soup
 10 ½ oz can condensed tomato soup
 1 pound long spaghetti
 ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

1

Brown onion in hot fat; add meat and seasonings; brown lightly. Cover and simmer 10 minutes. Add soups; cover and simmer 45 minutes. Cook spaghetti in boiling, salted water until tender. Drain and rinse with hot water. Arrange on hot platter. Pour over sauce. Sprinkle with cheese. Pass additional sauce and cheese.
Yield: Serves 4

Ingredients

 1 small onion, chopped
 2 tbsp salad or olive oil
 1 pound ground beef
 1 tsp salt
 ¼ tsp black pepper
 1 dash red pepper
 ½ tsp chili powder
 ½ tsp Tabasco sauce
 10 ½ oz can condensed cream of mushroom soup
 10 ½ oz can condensed tomato soup
 1 pound long spaghetti
 ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

1

Brown onion in hot fat; add meat and seasonings; brown lightly. Cover and simmer 10 minutes. Add soups; cover and simmer 45 minutes. Cook spaghetti in boiling, salted water until tender. Drain and rinse with hot water. Arrange on hot platter. Pour over sauce. Sprinkle with cheese. Pass additional sauce and cheese.
Yield: Serves 4

Irish-Italian Spaghetti

It seems like this should be an easy tale, right? A really simple recipe, and also one of the most-requested recipes from the Better Homes & Gardens archives and one of the most shock-inducing recipe on my Facebook page, this is pretty straightforward. Dump a bunch of soup on meat and serve it over spaghetti. Bing, bam, boom, done.

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Let me tell you something:  I have been trying for over a year – a YEAR! – to make this crazy recipe. This represents the fifth time I have purchased ingredients for this. Disasters kept striking that prevented me from making this. The first time, TJ got really sick with the flu. The second time, Carolyn was supposed to come over and help me and she and her whole family got sick.

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Fast forward a few months. I’m ready again to make this while we are in our temporary apartment. I get bronchitis and can’t make it. Fast forward a few more months. Carolyn is ready to come over to our new house and help me make Irish-Italian Spaghetti. We are reluctant to even type the name of the recipe to each other, for fear of jinxing it. I tell her when she comes over, we are going to make The Recipe That Cannot Be Named. A few hours later, Carolyn calls to say she isn’t coming over because her daughter caught something super-contagious at school. I gear myself up to make the recipe on my own. Tom comes home from work that night with a fever, and spends the next three days home from work with some horrible cold.

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But do I let the recipe win? No. No! Never. This is the Mid-Century Menu, and I win, not the recipes. Me!

So I plan again. I buy the ingredients over several shopping trips so the universe can’t tell what I’m doing. I tell no one. No one!

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Glop!

Then disaster strikes again. I let it slip to Carolyn that I am planning on making The Recipe That Cannot Be Named before St. Patrick’s Day. She laughs and tells all our friends about it, and we all get a good laugh. Too good, it seems, because the Universe hears us. It strikes and strikes fast. The stomach flu hits our whole house. I get a crazy six-week virus. My bronchitis comes back.

But this time, I’m not wussing out. I rise from my sick bed, and put on my luck apron.  I chop onions and I fry hamburger. I plop soup on it and stir it all up. And behold:

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Irish-Italian Spaghetti! Finally!!!

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“How is it? Does it taste like Doom?”

“Only if by “Doom” you mean really bland.”

“Are you kidding? All this work and it tastes bland???”

“It barely even tastes like anything.”

The Verdict: Disappointing

From The Tasting Notes –

Well, this dish was at least edible. After all of this drama, I expected it to be some sort of amazing delicious secret recipe that I would have to keep under lock and key because the internet would break if I tried to give it out. But no. It just tasted like bland goo with hamburger in it. We got two meals out of it because it made a ton, after which I succumbed to the flu and spent the next four days in bed wanting to claw my stomach out. So in the end it got me, but not before I got the word out to all of you. But don’t make it, okay? The world sucks enough as it is without this bland recipe cursing people.

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