Friday, January 28, 2011

Recipe for love..........

I like to spoil my DH now and then!  With me being vegetarian, he's usually the only meat handler in the house and, don't tell anyone, he's not much of a cook other than slapping a burger on the grill once the ice is chipped off the Weber.  With warm cookout days still a dream, I gave in yesterday after listening to his pleas requests for a bowl of real homemade spaghetti and meatballs, soon.

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?


  1. Mary, this is a darling post. I'm sure Bob felt and tasted the love. You're a good wife.♥

  2. Good morning Mary, I am taking a few minutes to lovingly get on my computer to visit you. I say that because with cousin Bob here I have no time for my computer. He stays in the cabin and in just a few minutes he will pop in our back door to say "Howdy, Howdy" and wait to be waited on. Smile. It is my pleasure but it has now been almost two weeks since he arrived. He is leaving on Sunday. Admittedly I am having a sigh of relief. I am so thankful to entertain my dear cousin. When I had my last knee surgery he waited on me hand and foot and cooked all the meals. My hero. Bill worked!

    Enough of me, I enjoyed your delicious pasta dish and the fun text too. All this to make your hubby smile. You are a dear and he knows it!

    You are a lovely writer Mary and delightful to read. I scrolled down to your word post and loved reading it too. Your photos are awesome and always enhance you text perfectly. I sincerely am happy to know you my dear friend. I only wish we could see each other more often.

    Well, Bob must be sleeping in this AM. Just maybe I'll get a couple more visits in this morning. Smile!
    Stay warm and forget that ice covered Weber and make a big pot of stew English style. Mmmmmm.
    Love you, Jeanne

  3. That looks absolutely yummy ~ My husband loves Rachel Ray's recipe for joy ~ Carbarnara and YES I eat it too~! ;-)

  4. Delicious, Mary. My husband loves a good old fashioned Beef casserole, preferably with parsnips (which I loathe!). But it is worth it because he loves them so much!

  5. This sounds good, I like the idea of puttting Italian sausage in it as well. Oddly enough I was planning to make spaghetti and meatballs tomorrow and I think I'll try adding the sausages too. Unlike you I shall be eating it as well as cooking it:)

  6. Delicious post, Mary.
    I haven't ever put sausages in a pasta dish will have to give it a try.
    Individual Yorkshire puddings, (we call them top hats) piled high with boeuf bourguinon, are what I make for my DH when I want to spoil him.
    Have a great weekend.

  7. My husband loves braised short ribs and so do I! I bed your house smelled wonderful with that sauce cooking all afternoon. Your pictures are so good, I could almost smell it through the computer!

  8. I bought meatballs at the supermarket earlier this week - must have known that your recipe was coming up, so shall try it. Thank you.

  9. I make this at least once a week for my men. Yours looks divine Mary and I come from an Italian family!! Very impressive!
    Tomorrow I am making the Northern Italy version of Lasagna for guests. First time since my family southern!
    Pamela xo

  10. That looks marvelous! And extremely rich and loaded with calories, every one of them delicious.

  11. Mary, what a good wife you are! The sauce looks yummy!!

  12. How cute your description on how to cook meat balls and spaghetti for your man or (our man)

    makes me hungry


  13. You are too funny...and such a good wife. My daughter is a vegetarian too. My husband is a meat lover. I eat a little meat, but I am not crazy about it. I always try to have a meal with a couple of choices to please everyone. If I cook something like pasta with meat, I always make a little sauce pot with just sauce for Catie. :) Carla

  14. Don's not much on Italian food other than "pizza". When I'm being a Great wife I make his mothers Chicken and homemade noodles. Takes 2 days to make it but it is very filling and means "I love you" to Don.

  15. Yum!! Sounds wonderful even if you don't eat it with him!!

  16. This sounds really yummy. I went through a period of being complete vegetarian, but found that meat protein worked for me. But I buy it only from local farmers who treat their animals humanely--none of the mass-produced, full-of-chemicals-hormones-and-cruelty stuff.
    And I like Martha's kitchenware--good designs, and not as heavy as the French stuff.

  17. Love your idea for the sauce. I think I will try that the next time. I could definitely have spaghetti without the meat too, though I am not a vegetarian. I was going to make just the sauce recently, but my husband has to have the meatballs or sausage. So in it went into the sauce.

  18. Oh Mary,
    don't we all just love ruminating about food.. Bobs spaghetti and meatballs sounds divine - in fact I would love a bowl myself!!
    You're very disciplined Mary, content with your caesar salad!
    My DH has very basic faves - roast dinners with all the trimmings!! So I make a special effort on his birthday and the occasional Sunday through the year!!
    Another most enjoyable post thank you!

  19. What a good wife:) I bought that red MS pot for future DIL who wanted a Le Creuset and she is very happy with it. I have a blue Raechel Ray pot that I am NOT happy with! C'est la vie sometimes.


  20. I bet not only did Bob have a smile on his face for the home cooked made from scratch dish, but also the lovely wife who made it for him! Love your new photo too, so elegant looking! Bob's got a lot to smile about!
    Take Care & hugs to both of you from the two of us,


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