Letting Life Lead
I know there have been a lot of food posts lately. The thing is that I’m sick as a dog with a weird virus and I haven’t the energy for much when I am healthy much less with fever, chills, headache, sore throat, and stuffy nose.
I also can’t taste my food.
That lead me back to childhood favorites like ginger ale and my grandma’s spaghetti. My husband is not fond of this dish because he thinks all spaghetti should have heavy meat sauce.
**family reaction: collective gasp**
He once even opened a jar and poured cold spaghetti sauce on top of my grandma’s spaghetti!
**family reaction: hands on pearls; gathering of torches and pitchforks**
I no longer serve this dish to that man.
This dish is very simple and it’s not healthy though you can make it healthier if it so pleases you. I just don’t want to hear anything about you using sauce or vegetables or herbs or what not. Don’t mess with my childhood memories when I’m sick, people. Okay?
1lb of spaghetti (whole wheat is okay, but will be different than regular)
1 6oz can of tomato paste (if you make more, use 1 can per pound of spaghetti)
muenster cheese (cubed. Can leave out if desired)
1/2 to 1 stick of butter sliced/cubed (up to you)
salt (to your taste)*
1 baking dish enough to hold the spaghetti**
*we all salt the water and the spaghetti before baking. But we usually prefer to do most salting in plates some of us go easy on the salt, and others like to be able to see the salt flakes on the pasta.
** I like my spaghetti in the oven a little drier with lots of crunchy bits on the top and sides, so I tend to us a pan with more room to increase surface area and bake at a higher temp. Any oven safe pan that will hold all your pasta will do.
Cook the spaghetti according to package directions to just under al dente. Reserve some of the cooking water. In the same cooking pot combine the butter, hot pasta, salt, tomato paste. Use a low heat on the stove if you need to. Use the reserved liquid to get the most paste out of the can and to slightly liquefy the paste. Half to one full can of liquid should be sufficient. Start with half; you can always add more. This is not a saucy spaghetti, but the tomato paste should be wet enough to turn the whole thing orange with little flecks of red goodness. You can add your cheese now,if using, or instead layer it as you put the spaghetti into the oven safe baking dish.
Oven 375 to 400 degrees F. Bake about 30 minutes until hot and bubbly. Cover and use lower temp if you want a plumper spaghetti, or leave uncovered at higher temp if you like it drier. Use your eyes and nose to get it how you like. The color and smell changes from uncooked to cooked.
Everyone in my family loves this dish. We are known to bicker over who gets the big, hidden cheesy balls or the crunchy bits. Next time I make it I’ll remember to take “before” pictures.
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