The holidays may be over, but not our chances for yet another reason to appreciate quality food and time with loved ones. Tis the season to enjoy yourself with the most favorite food in the world (at least by small children and Italians everywhere) — spaghetti! In case you were only born yesterday and never heard of spaghetti, the dictionary describes it as a white, starchy pasta of Italian origin that is made in the form of long strings, boiled, and served with any variety of meat, tomato or other sauces. In Italian, the word “spago” means twine or string.
What the dictionary fails to mention is that spaghetti is fun to eat! Kids the world over will attest to the fact that spaghetti makes the perfect meal which they will never say no to. Here is a great opportunity to introduce different foods to your children by serving new foods with spaghetti. The combinations of sauces go as far as your imagination can allow them.
Some of the traditional dishes and sauces used with spaghetti are carbonara, garlic and oil, tomato sauce, Bolognese sauce, clam sauce, and Alfredo sauce. Topping spaghetti with your favorite grated cheese may be the part that truly enhances the spaghetti dish.
Spaghetti evolved from boiled dough, and by the ninth century, the Arabs were making “itriyyaas” as string-like shapes made of semolina and dried before cooking. Sicily took up the export of this pasta during the 12th century. Dried pasta became popular in the 14th and 15th centuries due to its easy storage on ships when crews went off to explore the New World.
At the end of the 19th century, American restaurants offered spaghetti with a mild tomato sauce flavored with spices and vegetables. The decades that followed had cooks experimenting with oregano and basil, and spaghetti grew to become more and more delicious!
Try the following easy recipes to enjoy a great meal (and make your family very happy)!
LEMON PEPPER PASTA
1 pound spaghetti
2 tablespoons olive oil; drizzle more if the spaghetti seems dry
3 tablespoons lemon juice, to taste
1 tablespoon minced fresh basil
Ground black pepper to taste
- Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
- In a small bowl, combine olive oil, lemon juice, basil and black pepper. Mix well and toss with the pasta. Serve hot or cold.
Optional: You can add seared sea scallops in wine sauce or any kind of seafood or poultry, if you desire.
¾ pound spaghetti, cooked
3 tablespoons melted butter
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
2 eggs, beaten
Salt and pepper
Fresh parsley, chopped
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
Use a good, heavy 12-inch skillet, preferably cast iron.
- Cook the spaghetti according to the package directions, if not already cooked. Drain the spaghetti well and toss it with the butter, beaten eggs, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper to taste, and chopped parsley. Mix thoroughly.
- Put the olive oil in a heavy skillet. When the oil is hot, pour in the spaghetti mixture and shape it into a round pie.
- Using medium heat, gently work the pasta so that it browns evenly, by gently turning it around in the same direction to avoid sticking.
- When one side is brown, slide the pasta omelette onto a large plate; return it to the skillet to allow other side to brown. Add another tablespoon of oil if needed.
- Leave the omelette to cool slightly before serving for a better flavor. Cut into wedges and serve with crusty Italian bread.