June 29, 2010

Did anyone else’s kids ever call it that?

It’s actually not spaghetti. It’s actually farfalle, because that is what I had, and I’m pretty flexible about what pasta goes with which sauce. Plus I’m really uncoordinated at twirling spaghetti or linguine or vermicelli around my fork. All my few Italian genes (from back in the 14th century or some such) seem to be concentrated in sauce-making, even if I can’t make it the same way twice.

Tonight’s version is a sort of a bastardized Bolognese (doesn’t have all the veggies). I started with onion and garlic, added wine, then three cans of tomatos (one was diced; two were crushed, not by design but because that’s what I pulled out of the pantry), some fennel seed, some sweet Italian sausage, and a handful of thyme, oregano and basil out of my herb garden. Baked the sausage ahead, to render some of the fat, and cut it up in about half-inch slices. I held back some of the basil and tossed it in at the last minute so there were two different levels of basil flavor (that’s a Mark Bittman tip). Doused a ladle or two over some farfalle (I trust farfalle means “little scalloped bow tie” in Italian?) and grated on some Parmigiano. And even pulled a baguette out of the freezer and toasted it for garlic bread.

Initially, when I tasted it, I thought I’d gone too heavy-handed on the fennel, which is something of which a little goes a Looooonnnnnggg way. But by the time it simmered a while and the meat got added, it toned down nicely. The combo of crushed and diced tomatos gave it a nice texture, too.

Now that New Son has let me know he’s fine with tomato sauce without meat (I tried him on carbonara the other day, and he liked that, too, but he won’t touch Alfredo), I’ll be making marinara with fresh tomatos the next time I get in a pasta mood. If I don’t get in the mood for carbonara instead. I’ll have to try him on pesto cream sauce (Child C and CCRB love it, which I wouldn’t have expected, so he might, too), and I’m going to make that brown butter and sage sauce with pancetta that I had at Cafe Michelangelo, too, now that I have sage.

Speaking of kids (a la basketti), it was a sad day for mine. Ex-husband had to have the 14-year-old Weimaraner put down. Bless her heart, but she was a good, good dog; I’ll miss her.  My oldest child knew her for half her life; Child C was not quite seven when we brought her home, and Child B was 10.

Amusing Dixie stories abound. The damn dog had a cast-iron stomach. At various times, she ate the majority of a three pound can of Folgers coffee (didn’t sleep for three days); two-thirds of a box of fundraiser candy bars (chocolate is supposed to be deadly for dogs, right? Wrong.); and a bottle of 100 prescription iron supplement tables out of which only three had been consumed. Dog had diarrhea for a week after that one.

She was a couch dog…and if you were lying on the couch, she’d get between you and the back of the couch and then proceed to nudge you off of it. If you were eating an apple, she’d lay her big grey head on your knee and drool and look pitiful until you gave her the core. And she was a good friend and a great dog. Rest in peace, Dixie. Plenty of birds for you to point in doggy heaven, I’m sure.

Not cooking tomorrow night — I’m treating myself to a badly needed manicure and pedicure after work, and bringing something home for NS, particularly since I’m eating meat loaf at the Red Oak Station for lunch. May come home and start the stuff for the moussaka. Or not. Grilling pork loin this weekend, and probably a steak one night (will be trying your method, Little Clove). Drinking a lot of beer and playing on the lake and shooting fireworks. Etc.

You and y’mama ‘n ’em get ready for a star spangled holiday.


One Response to “Basketti!”

  1. Len Cleavelin Says:

    Up north, when we were kids, we called it “pisgetti”.

    Apropos Bittman, I purchased the How To Cook Everything iPhone app (most iPhone apps work just fine on the iPod Touch, too). Probably doesn’t have all the content of the book, but is supposed to have many of the recipes, and has a whole lot of the cooking tips and techniques and whatnot. Looking forward to spending some time with that. I’ll probably have the iPod with me when I visit, so you can take a gander at it.

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