If you are a fan of the television show King of the Hill (I am), then you might already know that Bill Dauterive’s favorite restaurant is That’s-A-Real Italiano, and his favorite meal there is the jumbo spaghetti sandwich. We took that idea and turned it into a great way to feed a bunch of people on a budget.
We start with a couple of loaves of Italian bread with the tops removed and the center hollowed out to make a bowl. Brush both top and bottom with softened garlic butter and bake till the butter is melted and the bread is lightly toasted.
Make the spaghetti with venison meat sauce, mix in the cooked pasta, then spoon it into the bread bowl. Top with some shredded mozzarella cheese and run it under the broiler to melt. Cap everything with the bread tops, then serve them up. Bill was right, it’s a great sandwich.
5 ounces mushrooms, chopped, your choice of variety
Salt and pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
One 28-ounce can crushed San Marzano tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup water
1 tablespoon fresh basil, diced
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons butter for finishing, cut into 4 pieces
16 ounces dried spaghetti, cooked to package instructions
2 large loaves Italian bread
1 stick butter, softened
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
Start by making the sauce. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil, then brown the ground venison and mushrooms. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the minced garlic and continue cooking for 3 to 5 minutes.
Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, water, basil, Italian seasoning, a teaspoon of salt, and the sugar. Bring the sauce to a simmer, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 to 45 minutes.
Just before serving, stir in the butter, one piece at a time.
While the sauce cooks, remove the tops from the bread loaves. Reserve the tops. Take out some of the center portion from the bottom of the loaves to form them into shallow bowls.
Mix 1 stick of softened butter with 2 cloves of minced garlic. Spread the mixture evenly over the cut surfaces of all 4 pieces of bread. Bake the bread at 350 degrees until the butter is melted and the bread is lightly toasted.
Cook the spaghetti according to package directions. Drain the cooked pasta and mix it into the sauce.
Spoon the spaghetti into the bowl portion of the bread, mounding it above the surface of the bread.
Top with shredded mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Run the sandwiches under the broiler to melt the cheese. Add the bread tops and serve as a jumbo spaghetti sandwich, just like Bill would.
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