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Eat This While You Read That: Kal Spriggs

Odin's EyeFor this blog series I have done lasagna, Alfredo sauce (twice) but not, previously, spaghetti. Today is that day. 

Kal Spriggs writes fun space opera, I reviewed his first one here, and recently has begun to produce epic fantasy as well. I was delighted to meet him in person this last LibertyCon, even if it was a brief introduction!

The recipe is uncomplicated, his books are not. I described his writing in the first book as ‘smooth as silk’ but the characterizations are complex and enjoyable. I really like the cover on his latest, and the plot of this series is fascinating: an AI that rivals Big Brother in watching an entire planet, and the rogue spaceship captain bent on taking it out. So pick up a book, and let’s get cooking!

The sauce bubble and fizzes when you pour the beer in, which amused me inordinately.

Kal’s Spaghetti Recipe


  • Olive Oil,
  • 90% lean ground beef,
  • tomato sauce,
  • 1/2 lb spaghetti noodles,
  • garlic,
  • basil,
  • oregano,
  • 1 bottle newcastle brown ale (can be substituted with Guinness, Shiner, or other beer to preference)


Squeeze ground beef into sphere-ish shapes, cook in pan on stove at moderate heat, using light amount of olive oil and beer to keep from sticking. When meatballs are cooked, add can of tomato sauce, season with garlic, oregano, basil, and beer as needed to thin the sauce to desired consistency and add flavor. Stir sauce until properly mixed and serve with pasta of choice.

Cook noodles at same time. Add sauce and enjoy. Best enjoyed with a good beer.


Cedar’s cooking notes: Beer with spaghetti? Well, ok, why not? Although I will say that this was not the right beer for this recipe. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a very nice beer. Drinkable, even, and I don’t like beer. Sweet, fruity without being floral, it’s a light and not bitter (I loathe IPAs) beverage. You really want a darker, heavier beer to put in this dish. But I had picked this up on super sale so in it went, making me feel like a witch of Macbeth “Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and caldron bubble.” 

The other thing I did was skip making meatballs. I’d pulled the meat from the freezer the day before and put it in the fridge, and it was still mostly frozen (a lot like being mostly dead) when I pulled it out to cook with. So the meat was browned in a cast-iron skillet just as I would usually do.

Kal doesn’t include how much tomato sauce, and because we aren’t fond of a runny sauce, I put in a 14 oz can of sauce, a small can (6 oz I think) of tomato paste, and all but three sips (the First Reader and I trying it) of a 12 oz bottle of beer. I also added mushrooms because the First Reader is part hobbit and believes mushrooms have a place in any meal. We served it with Parmesan cheese on top and spaghetti noodles underneath and enjoyed. spaghetti-7

I will also note that the cherry stout I drank with this meal was excellent. The cherry was a dark, sweet flavor in addition to the natural richness of the beer. Not at all overpowering, and with the hints of chocolate you get in a stout, one of the rare beers I’d actually drink if I drank often. The flavor of the spaghetti paled beside this. I’d go back, next time, and put a dark in the sauce, and drink the light with the meal. But that’s me.

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1 thought on “Eat This While You Read That: Kal Spriggs

  1. Durn it. I’m going to have to invite the sister and her family over to try this one. The immediate household is all confirmed winos…

    On “runny” sauce – I’ve switched over to using tomato puree instead of tomato sauce (when I make it from cans – which is usually, these days).

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