Monday, July 7, 2008

Scaping By

Today was a draining day. For Nate, this meant heading to work early and then giving tours of multiple-hour lengths of the newest location of his Unnamed Employer to some bigwigs. For me, it began with an unexpected root canal (surprise!) and then continued on to a busy, pre-WSA ship day of interviews, fact-checking and writing. So when we got home, it was gratifying that Nate had prepared something last night in advance. I'll let him talk about it:

Hey there, food fans! Today's meal was incredibly simple. The premise may seem like fiction from one of today's hottest imaginations (such as Dean Koontz) however it is non-fiction that takes place in a place that is all too real: my life!

I discovered the other day that Jen, the woman who I married, had never had spaghetti and meatballs (note: this is in her memory, her mother may chime in to debunk this statement). I was shocked to find that I had married her without knowing this. A few years back I had learned that she'd never had peanut butter and jelly. After doing some soul-searching I still decided to ask her to marry me.

So, tonight's meal is a pretty simple preparation of a dish that I am assuming most readers (at least readers who grew up in North America) have had: Spaghetti & Meatballs.

They're not as good as they look.

I figured that if I was going to make spaghetti and meatballs I'd better make sure to make the sauce from scratch. I bought some pretty below average vine "ripened" tomatoes that I elected to concasse.

Concasse, for those of you who are not annoying assholes who went to culinary school such as myself, is when you take the core out of a tomato, score the bottom, then boil them for 10-12 seconds before submerging them into an ice bath. This loosens the skin and makes them incredibly easy to peel.

I made a quick tomato sauce, threw together some meatballs (which I seasoned with bread crumbs, basil, garlic, onion, leftover rictotta cheese from our tart a week or two ago, some parmesan, salt and pepper), and then served the meatballs and sauce over some spaghetti.

Then I served it to Jen. Who had spaghetti and meatballs. For the first time. Ever. In her life. At the age of 28.

And it was delicious, too! Although it was a totally farm-share-free meal -- perils of the Monday night dinner. Yesterday, in addition, we went out to eat for dinner, but for lunch, I did manage to use at least two farm-share ingredients (garlic scapes, parsley) to make a summertime favorite: cucumber soup.



caolan said...


Sandy said...

Jen, now you can even more officially be welcomed into the Ricci/Venava family.
Mom B

Lisa Marie said...

Jen lies. We totally had spaghetti and meatballs before. Peanut butter and jelly is still definately a non starter in both the Naperville E household (the "Big E") and the Kalamazoo E household. In fact, Adam will be physically sick from even smelling/thinking about/being in the same room with a pb&j sandwich. Please do not test this out next time you see him, just take my word for it.

Jen said...

Mousie -- spaghetti, yes, loads of times. Spaghetti and meat sauce -- yes, tons of times. Spaghetti with actual balls of meat in it, though? No, I don't think so. Not that I can remember!!! Except maybe once when Gregg took me and Katherine to a play. WHEN I WAS TWO AND A HALF. So I don't count that!

Jen said...

But also, peanut butter and jelly is the ruin of some good peanut butter.

caolan said...

Yeah, why doesn't Paul like jelly? Plain peanut butter has kind of an ascetic appeal but I feel like I would just put some honey or banana or sugar or something on there if I could. Maybe not sugar.

Lisa Marie said...

I will concede that the spaghetti and meatball meals MIGHT (MIGHT!) have occured after you moved out. And they might have been soy meatballs.