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.

Unknown said...

You are all fools . . . FOOLS! Peanut Butter and Jelly is fantastic! I'm not against plain peanut butter though I'd never had a plain peanut butter sandwich until I met Paul.

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.