Global Warming Pasta
1 lb. ground beef
1 lb. locally made Sweet Italian sausage
1 lb. canned crushed tomato or tomato sauce or spaghetti sauce
1 lb. spaghetti or penne
Global, because every local sausage is slightly different, so every time you make this it will taste slightly different. Ditto because of tomatoes and tomato sauce. Variation is built into this recipe. But it is always good, globally warming. All meateaters love this pasta, with bread and a salad and red wine, the perfect meal when it's raining out.
Saute the onion in butter and olive oil. Add the ground beef and brown it. Take the sausage out of the casing by slicing down the center and scraping it out. Add the sausage and brown. Add tomatos or tomato sauce (any related product you have on hand will do Parmalat strained tomatos for example, tomato paste diluted in water or wine). Sprinkle on dried oregano, salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Cook on low heat for twenty minutes, until slightly reduced and all flavors are blended. Serve over pasta chosen by your dining companion with lots of grated cheese. Eat the leftovers for days.
Basically, this is:
Spaghetti with Meat Sauce (Bolognese)
Sauté a medium to large onion in butter and oil. Add 1 lb. chopped meat. Add 1 lb. sausage meat (meat removed from Sweet Italian sausages as in "Pasta with Sausage and Cream"). Cook for 20 minutes. Stir often. Add tomatoes or tomato sauce in some form and heat through, then serve over a pound or more of cooked spaghetti, with parmesan on the side. Should serve six people.
Possible forms of tomato sauce, in descending order of cost and ascending order of purity (i.e. absence of added seasonings and ingredients): a prepared spaghetti sauce, like Ragu; a tomato sauce, like Hunt's Tomato Sauce; pureed tomatoes, which also come in cans; canned Italian tomatoes. I like it all ways. A sauce made with just tomatoes will be least salty.
Bill Wright's Puttanesca Sauce
Heat olive oil in pan. Saute garlic, sweet onion, shallots, whatever. Add pitted black olives, maybe a few green olives, capers and a good sized can of whole tomatoes, crudely chopped, or crushed tomatoes. Tuna fish optional. Serve with grated parmesan cheese. One pound of linguini or spaghetti will serve 6-8 as a first course, 3-4 as a main course.
Last Flight Out Pasta
This is what you make the last night before you leave your house on vacation or at the end of a vacation or when you're moving or going away or fleeing apprehension.
Whatever leftover pasta you have on hand.
Whatever other ingredients you have on hand.
Saute an onion and shallots, whatever you have like that leftover. If you have something in the freezer, like a package of cocktail shrimp or some vegetable, add that, too. Add the leftover pasta with a little wine and cream or anything else you have on hand to make liquid. If nothing's already leftover, you'll have to cook some pasta. Add grated cheese if you have it. Let me know what ingredients you used and how it turned out.
Our Last Flight Out Pasta on June 19, 2002 was based on a lemon pasta with mushrooms leftover from a veal piccata a few nights before. I had shrimp in the freezer and added those to the onions and shallots. I used sherry to deglaze and cream to make more sauce. I don't think we had any cheese. Still, it was good. It tasted like a shrimp newburgh from the 1950s.