spaghetti (a beginning)


The other day, I was reading Shauna’s (gluten free girl’s) blog, and her most recent post was “The first meal I ever cooked”

This one really made me think. What was that very first meal? Then I remembered. For her, it was macaroni and cheese. For me, it was spaghetti. It was definitely my dad who got me into cooking. All due respect to my mom, but she was much too afraid that I would chop my fingers off.

Dad would let me use the “big knife” to chop ingredients for him, and I felt so important. I was his sous chef, and we would stand in the kitchen, a small towel thrown over our shoulder, always there for the occasional spill or wiping of the hands. This he was taught to him by his father, and now, I can’t cook without one.

A while after I began helping Dad in the kitchen, I went on a shopping trip with Mom to the mall. We walked into Williams-Sonoma, and I was awed by the huge brass cooking pots, gleaming under the bright white lights. I was wandering past the books section when their latest release caught my eye- “the kids cookbook”. I begged Mom to buy it, and she gave in. That book fascinated me for weeks. I loved looking at the colorful photos of rich chocolate birthday cake and fruity smoothies.

I finally decided what to make. Spaghetti.

My first meal, granted, was not amazing. It took a few more kitchen mishaps (mashed potatoes with 4 pints of cream, anyone?) for me to hit my cooking stride.

But everyone loves spaghetti.  The endless sauce styles (Tomato Basil, Vodka, Three Cheese, Sun-dried Tomato), the slurping of pasta. So easy to make, and so easy to make extraordinary.

When Mom asked me to make dinner the other night, I was tired from tennis, and just decided to make some spaghetti. I found this great, basic recipe, one that is easily added to and modified.

  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 fresh red chile
  • A small bunch of fresh basil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 pound dried spaghetti
  • Olive oil
  • 1 x 14-ounce can of diced tomatoes
  • 4 ounces Parmesan cheese
To prepare your pasta, peel and finely slice the garlic. Finely slice your chile (halve and seed it first if you don’t want the sauce so hot) Pick the basil leaves off the stalks and put to the side. Finely chop the stalks.
Bring a large pan of salted water to boil, add the spaghetti and cook according to package instructions. Meanwhile, put a saucepan on medium heat, and add 2 good doses of olive oil. Add the garlic, chile, and basil stalks and give them a stir. When the garlic begins to brown slightly, add most of the basil leaves and the canned tomatoes. Turn the heat up high and stir for a minute with salt and pepper. Drain the spaghettin in a colander then transfer it to the pan of sauce and stir well. Add salt and pepper to taste.
You can modify this sauce to your liking as much as you want. I personally like a creamier sauce, so I added about 4 tablespoons of heavy cream and a good sprinkling of parmesan cheese. This is a great, simple dish, and my entire family loved it. I hope you enjoy it as well!
Oh, and what was the very first meal you cooked?
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About Juliet

I have been a gluten-free blogger for about 5 years now, and life has never been better! I love to play tennis and experiment with baking gluten free goods. I love to blog, and I love you all! -Juliet

One response »

  1. Pingback: spaghetti (a beginning) « {confessions of a celiac teen} « Aggregatore Ricette Cucina

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