For the rats:
1-1/2 lbs. lean ground beef
1/2 cup uncooked long grain white rice
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1 egg, beaten
uncooked spaghetti, broken into quarters
thinly sliced raw carrots
black peppercorns, cooked black beans
For the sauce, um, blood:
1 can (19 oz.) crushed or ground tomatoes
1-1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1. In a mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, rice, onion, egg and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Mix well.
2. Now make the rats. Using a measuring cup, scoop out 1/4 cup of the ground beef mixture. Form it, by hand, into a firmly packed teardrop shape -- pointy on one end, rounded on the other. This is your basic rat. Place it into a 3-quart shallow baking dish and gently pinch in the neck area. Poke a piece of uncooked spaghetti into the larger rounded end as a tail. Repeat with the remaining ground beef mixture.
3. When all the rats are neatly placed in the baking dish, stir together the tomatoes, water, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, remaining 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Pour over the rats. Bake at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes, basting occasionally with sauce. Then cover the dish with foil and bake for another 15 minutes, or until the rice is tender and the rats are fully cooked.
4. Gently remove rats, one at a time, from the sauce and place gently on a serving platter. (Take care not to damage the tails -- they're fairly delicate.) Into each rat, insert two carrot slices as ears, peppercorns (or whatever) for eyes, and a few more broken strands of uncooked spaghetti for whiskers. Spoon sauce around the rats and serve, smiling wickedly.
This dish goes nicely with pasta or mashed potatoes.