Sunday, April 26, 2009

In Honor of Ticky, Rosie Makes Spah-gee-ti, Overly Enunciated a la Gee-ahh-da.

Saturday night, I made spah-gee-ti and meatballsa with garlic bread for Ticky, since she told me that was one of her favorites. Now, I'm showing the garlic bread first, even though that's not the order in which I made this. I didn't want my readers to think I was venturing into SLoP territory by making the salad first then preparing the 8 hour crock pot dish. It just made more sense doing the post this way.
Here's a loaf of bread, 3 garlic cloves, and a bunch of parsley.
I chopped the parsley and minced the garlic.
I heated my pan, then added in butter and Bertolli Extra Light Olive Oil (My brand of choice.). When that was hot, I tossed in the parsley and garlic. Then I turned off the heat.
I swirled the parsley and garlic around for a bit ...
... then added in the bread slices and coated on both sides. You can do this ahead of time, then put them in the oven later at 350 degrees to get nice and toasty. Next, my spah-gee-ti sauce. (Ticky and I had fun over-enunciating our words and pretending to be Giada. We both wore very low-cut, tight, form-fitting sweaters, sporting our impressive cleavages, each of us trying to out-cleave and out-Giada the other, what with our bending over and reeeeeeeaching and streeeeeetching and I must say we looked ABsolutely FABulous. You're welcome, Buckykatt, for that visual.) By the way, here's a video Mr. Hawthorne shot of Ticky and me and Daughter Hawthorne.
My ingredients: large can chopped tomatoes large can tomato sauce bunch of mushrooms onion peppers garlic
Everything is either nicely minced or chopped and ready for the pan.
I added my Land o' Lakes unsalted butter to my hot pan and heated it to almost browning, then added an equal amount of Bertolli Extra Light Olive Oil. Onions went in first.
Followed by the mushrooms.
When the mushrooms had cooked for a bit, I added the peppers. (What was in my fridge was part of a green bell pepper and a poblano pepper.) By the way, never salt your mushrooms. If you do, they release moisture and sweat instead of sauteeing.
At the end, the garlic went in. I always add the garlic at the end because you don't want the garlic to overcook. If garlic burns, it gets bitter.
Chopped tomatoes went in.
Tomato sauce went in. And with both cans, after emptying into the pot, I added water to the cans, swirled it around, and poured out every last bit of tomato into the sauce. I hate waste. And there's so much waste on Food Network cooking shows, it's sinful. I'm looking at you, SLoP. At this point, I stopped before I tossed the cans in the garbage. "Ticky," I asked, "these are nice cans. I could use these for something." Ticky: "Well, you know what Sandy would do ..." And right then and there, before Ticky could finish her sentence, I immediately threw the cans INto the garbage. Maybe you had to be there.
My spices were added: dried oregano, thyme, and sage.
Here's fresh oregano from my garden.
These are some nifty little gardening scissors Sister Hawthorne gave me for Christmas. You put your herb sprig in one of the little v-shaped indentations and just pull the sprig through from tip to base and it de-leafs your herbs. Works like a charm.
Wallah! Stripped herbs.
I finely chopped the fresh oregano and added that to the sauce. And let it simmer for about 3 hours.
If you recall, the other day I made a bunch of meatballs for my Italian Wedding Soup. And I saved some of them for this dish. Ever thinking ahead, I am. After simmering the spah-gee-ti sauce for about 3 hours, I added in the meatballs and turned off the heat, keeping the sauce covered.
Finally, I grated some Parmesan (I prefer Il Villagio.) and julienned some fresh basil.
Ticky stepped in at this point, after the 3-hour gestation period for the sauce, and cooked the God-given Whole Wheat Pasta. Since she was heading back home that same night, I think the poor woman thought if she didn't cook the damn pasta herself (Did I mention it was WHOLE FRICKIN' WHEAT pasta?) dinner would never get on the table. Earlier Saturday morning, I had to pick up Daughter Hawthorne from a sleep-over at a friend's house so Ticky and I (Click on first video - driving to the supermarket.) stopped by Harris Teeter to buy this glorious whole wheat pasta for Ticky's dinner. Since Ticky had made such an exquisite meal for us the night before, I felt obliged to rise to the occasion and offer her a wonderful repast. I went to Harris Teeter for one box of Whole Wheat pasta and came out $68.41 poorer. Doncha jes hate it when that happens?
Finally, I served our meal. Whole wheat spah-gee-ti with spah-gee-ti sauce and garlic bread, with a sprinkling of Pahr-mee-jahn-ah rehg-ee-ahh-no and basil.
Eet was day-lee-see-o-so.
Heads up, photographers. Here's Photography Tip #101. When shooting low light scenes on your digital camera, there is an ISO setting, similar to the ASA settings on film cameras, that you may want to use. Essentially, setting your control on your digital camera to ISO makes your camera more sensitive to light. It's comparable to using a "faster" film in your SLR film camera. You're able to shoot under lower light conditions. However, there is a drawback. In film photography, using a higher speed ASA film gives you a "grainier" picture. This happens in digital photography too when using the ISO setting. Look at the next two pictures. Both were shot on the ISO setting.
Click on them to enlarge. They both look "grainy," especially the second, since it was taken in the telephoto mode, which would accentuate the graininess.
Check out this picture. Enlarge it and examine. Compare it to the last picture, since it's telephoto also. Same time. Same light. Same conditions. How did I do that, you ask? (You are asking, aren't you?) Most digital cameras will have a "Scene" setting dial. On my camera, for example, I can set my "Scene" dial to different situations: Portrait Landscape Sports (Which is the equivalent of having a motor drive on an SLR.) Night Portrait Party/Indoor Beach/Snow (Which overexposes the photograph since it's metering on white. I've discussed this before here.) Sunset Dusk/Dawn Night Landscape Close Up (Which is the same as the Macro setting.) Museum (Adjusts for the lighting with NO flash.) Fireworks show That photo was shot on the Dusk/Dawn setting. I set the camera on my deck railing (You could use a tripod.) and shot the picture. The Dusk/Dawn setting intensifies the colors. Neat!


Marilyn said...

I wish my camera had all those nifty settings. Le sigh.

I also wish I could have reached in my computer and gotten me some of that spah-GEE-ti and garlic bread.

Kathy said...

I never knew whole wheat pasta had some many descriptive adjectives! Let's see - God-given, frickin', glorious. Admit it Rosie, you liked it. Maybe not loved it, but you liked it. At least your blood sugar levels are thanking me.