Chinese Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

Is it Italian? Is it American? No, It’s Chinese! I absolutely loved this dish growing up. The combination of hoisin sauce and tomato sauce make for a very tasty dish with a Chinese twist!

1 pound thin spaghetti
8 cups water
2 teaspoons salt for boiling the spaghetti
1 fresh cucumber (about 10 oz.)
1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil (for cooking in a non-stick wok or a pot)

Meat Sauce:
1 pound 90% lean ground beef
4 cloves garlic
2 scallions, including the green top
1 teaspoon dried crushed red chili peppers
3 tablespoons Hoisin sauce*
3 tablespoons soy sauce (Kikkoman brand)
2 cans tomato sauce (8 oz. each)

Peel and slice cucumber diagonally into ¼ inch thin pieces, then cut into strips. Place the cucumber strips in a small bowl and set aside.  Crush, peel and finely chop the garlic. Wash and trim the green onions, finely chop.

To Cook:
Heat oil in a non-stick wok or a pot over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, brown garlic, green onions and crushed chili peppers for a few seconds. Add ground beef. Cook and stir for approximately 2 to 3 minutes, until the meat separates. Add Hoisin sauce, soy sauce and tomato sauce into wok or pot. Mix well. Lower heat and cook for approximately 5 minutes with the cover on. Stir the sauce mixture again, cover and cook for 2 more minutes. Turn off heat and let the meat sauce sit with cover on the stove until the spaghetti is ready to serve.

In a medium size pot, bring water to a boil. Break the thin spaghetti in half and place into boiling water. Add 2 teaspoons of salt and stir well. Boil the spaghetti for approximately 8 minutes uncovered and stir occasionally. Drain the cooked spaghetti through a colander.

To Serve:
Place a portion of cooked spaghetti in an individual serving plate. Add sauce over the top of the spaghetti and sprinkle a handful of cucumber strips over the meat sauce to serve.

Makes 6 to 8 servings
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: Approximately 18 to 20 minutes

*Hoisin sauce is a sweet brown sauce made from soybeans.  Sold in jars or bottles at the Asian section of most supermarkets.  After opening it can be stored for several month in the refrigerator.

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