MY recipe for Homemade Italian for Bob.
On a grey Winter's day, late in the morning, pour a nice glass of Harvey's Bristol Cream sherry. Sip and savour while thinking about the origins of two plump Italian sausages and a pound of ground round waiting on the counter. Yes, we watched the Food, Inc. DVD just two weeks ago so I had great difficulty even going to the market for those main ingredients.
Drink to a future with free range piggies, cows, and chickens.
Slurp down the sherry, forget the disturbing movie, and just get on with it..................
Tip a jar of Dean and DeLuca's Puttanesca Sauce and a jar of H.T. Traders Arrabbiata Sauce into a large, bright red, jolly looking Martha Stewart ('cos we can't afford Le Creuset!!!) pot. Add a can of Del Monte Petite Cut diced tomatoes to temper the spiciness and set over a medium low heat. The days of making sauce from scratch are a memory.
Meanwhile brown those fat piggies gently in a pan while putting together eight chubby meatballs. You have your personal recipe for those I know - this is mine. To the pound of ground beef, add one beaten egg, 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley, two beef flavoured bouillon cubes (I use OXOS from England - always fly back here with a suitcase full of them and their great vegetarian version too), freshly ground pepper, approx. 1/2 cup fine whole wheat bread crumbs. Mix well, shape into 8 balls and roll in extra bread crumbs. Remove the now browned sausages and cut in thirds, add to the bubbling sauce. Brown the meatballs on each side by gently turning with tongs, drain on paper towels and add to the sauce. When Martha's beautiful pot is at a full bubble, turn the heat down to very low, place cover partially on top...........and go do something really worthwhile for a few hours, such as recovering two old hatboxes with bargain paper - more on that another day!
As the evening draws in and Bob brings in logs for the evening fire, remove lid from the jolly red pot, give it a stir, and start another pot of lightly salted water for the pasta - y'all know how to cook pasta 'al dente'. Here, I would prefer linguine or fettuccine, but Bob likes good, old fashioned, true spaghetti to twirl comfortably around his fork.
Search for a bottle of good Italian wine, Chianti or a blended Tuscan red. Pile up Bob's bowl with steaming pasta, a couple of meatballs, sausages, and lots of spicy sauce. Grate fresh Parmigiano Reggiano profusely, grate black peppercorns gently.
Get my healthy Caesar salad out of the 'frig - propose a toast to Italy, their delightful people and fabulous food - and wait for all the love to show on Bob's face!
What special dish do you enjoying preparing for a loved one - and do you eat it too?