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Groundhog Day food

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By Bob Fortunato

Yes, I love the Bill Murray Groundhog Day movie. I am always interested in Groundhog Day. First because it is my birthday and second I want the little weather guy to give us some good news, like early spring. He did see his shadow and predicted six more weeks of winter. With the hard winter we are having who wants to hear about six more weeks of this kind of weather? How about a recipe for roasted groundhog?

Actually when we are stuck in the house watching Bill Murray movies, reading, watching TV or playing computer games nothing can make you feel better than a hearty meal. In school or in some restaurants we would get something called chili mac, it was a great comfort food. Also, how about spaghetti pizza, a pizza without a crust? Is it pizza or a casserole? It is vastly flexible to anything you want. You can make it a cheeseburger theme using ground meat and shredded cheddar.

Any pizza topping you like will work well.

Some assembly is needed, but you don’t have to work with any pizza dough. The great aroma and taste of these two recipes will help us beat the winter blues.

Spaghetti Pizza

Ingredients:

8 ounces spaghetti

1 egg beaten

1/2 cup of milk

1 1/2 cups spaghetti sauce

1/2 pound cooked Italian sausage chopped or crumbled

1 cup shredded mozzarella

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Other options: onions, peppers, olives, etc

Directions:

Break spaghetti into three-inch pieces and boil until al dente, then drain. While spaghetti boils, preheat oven to 350 degrees, use a little olive oil to grease a 9 x 9 inch baking dish. Combine the milk, egg, and Parmesan cheese in a large bowl and add the cooked, drained spaghetti. Mix well. Pour this mixture into greased baking dish, spread evenly. Top the spaghetti with the sauce, sausage and the cheese and any other topping of your choice. Bake for 30 minutes.Use a spatula to cut into squares. Serves about four.

I did sprinkle a little garlic powder and Italian seasoning on the spaghetti before I baked it.

Chili Mac

Ingredients:

1 pound ground beef

2 Tbsp. cooking oil

1 28oz. can diced tomatoes with juice

1 cup chopped onion

3 cloves garlic minced

1 Tbls. Worcestershire sauce

2 Tbsp. chili powder

1 Tbsp. Cumin

2 Tbsp. suga

1 bay leaf

2 cups Tomato sauce

2 15.5 oz. cans kidney beans

1 pound elbow macaroni

Directions:

Brown ground beef in a Dutch oven or heavy pot. Drain excess fat. Add tomatoes, onion, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, cumin, sugar, bay leaf, one cup of tomato sauce, salt and pepper to taste. Partially cover and simmer for 25 minutes. Add kidney beans and remaining sauce.Cook 10 more minutes as you prepare the macaroni to al dente. Drain and add the macaroni to the chili. Serve in bowls with shredded cheddar cheese.

The views expressed in this column are those of the writer.