Monday, September 3, 2012

Spaghetti Memories

Spaghetti is a meal that I associate with family. When I was younger, we would travel back to the town where I was born and visit with family. One of the highlights of those visits would be going to my aunt and uncle's house for fresh pasta and sauce that my aunt and her mom would prepare. The pasta was hand cut and they would have it wrapped in butcher paper. They started their sauce from tomatoes they would pick each August! There would always be 20 or 30 people sitting at long tables covered in white paper. My uncle made wine and you knew you had come of age when you were offered a glass with your dinner. After dinner there would be wonderful cookie trays along with espresso in demi tasse cups.On his first visit, my aunt's mother offered my husband a cup and he thought he was just drinking regular coffee in little cups. He ended up drinking 3 cups before someone told him that was espresso! Needless to say, he didn't get much sleep that night!

I use canned tomatoes and my KitchenAid, but hopefully the memories I'm making for my children are the same. Yesterday, they were full of anticipation waiting for their cousins to arrive! They helped my husband and I make ready for our guests and worked their own dough as I made the pasta. As anyone who knows me can tell you, I am a very sentimental person and when we all were sitting down enjoying the meal that we had prepared, I was remembering those meals of my youth. The faces may change at the table as families grow and change, but the love is there making a simple meal extra special!


Spaghetti marinara with sausage
Tossed greens with candied walnuts
Pepperoni bread
Banana Split Cake (recipe to be added)

I start with my pasta as the dough needs to rest for an hour during which time, I make my sauce.

Semolina Pasta:
(1.5 lbs)
2 cups semolina
1 1/3 cups pasta flour
2 tbsp water plus more as needed
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt

Place all ingredients in mixing bowl. If you're using a KitchenAid mixer attach the flat beater and run that speed to 30 seconds. Change out the flat beater for the dough hook. Knead for two minutes. Add additional water 1 tbdp at a time as needed to bring the dough together. Turn out of the bowl and hand knead for 1 to 2 minutes don't overwork. Form into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and let rest in the refridge for 1 hour. When you start to cut the dough, I've found it best to wrap the resting dough in damp paper towels as pictured below. Follow the tool instructions for flattening and cutting the pasta. Let dry for 1 hour on clean towels. If you are using it at another time, store in an airtight container or vacumn sealed bag.


4 29oz cans of tomato sauce ( I use Hunt's)
1 8 oz can of tomato paste
2 cans of diced tomatoes
1/2 small onion diced fine
4 cloves of garlic
3 bay leaves
1 tbsp each of basil, oregano and thyme
3 tbsp sugar
1 lb sausage links ( I use Johnsonville mild Italian)
2 cups water

Cook sausage in skillet and drain on a paper plate. Drizzle 2-3 tbps of the sausage drippings into the pot you are using for your sauce. Heat up over low-med heat. Add the diced onion and cook until translucent. Add diced garlic and cook 2 minutes more. Add the spices and cook another minute to start releasing the flavors. Add the cans of sauce, paste and diced tomatoes. Stir gently to combine. Add sugar and watering stirring again. Turn heat to low and simmer for 1-2 hours. Stirring occasionally. Taste after 1 hour and add spices and/or sugar to taste.

(Pictures not in order, I need a blog guru to help me!)

1 comment:

  1. Impressive, gal! Hope you had a terrific time. It all looks delish!