Saturday, February 09, 2008

Italian Sausages and Spaghetti

One of my resolutions was to be more purposeful about having fun. Frankly, writing that makes me laugh a bit. However, you have to admit that if someone has to state that they need to purposeful about having fun, then they are truly in need of having fun. Fun for me is cooking new things--and in my fun category I have "food" and "cuisines" as as one of my primary fun venues.

I wanted to share with you this recipe from House & Garden's Cook Book, 1958. I found it in an antique store. Oh, such wondrous things are in it. James Beard is one of the contributors along Done Lucas--there are string of others, but I only recognize these two names I recognized. I did look up another, Helen Evans Brown. Here's what I found from a writeup of the book Love and Kisses and a Halo of Truffles.

Crowned "Titan of the table art," James Beard was America's most celebrated chef for over five decades. This selection of letters and recipes written to his close friend and fellow chef Helen Evans Brown offers a rich, personal and unique food experience.

James Beard, a pioneer of modern American cookery--whom Craig Claiborne termed “a titan of the table art”--was for over five decades America’s most celebrated cook and food writer. He trained three generations of American cooks, and his many cookbooks are gastronomic classics. Love and Kisses and a Halo of Trufflesis a rich selection of more than 300 letters, many containing recipes, written to his close friend and fellow chef Helen Evans Brown over a period of twelve years. Focusing mainly on food but also filled with witty, insightful comments on the state of the world as he saw it, these letters offer an intimate look at American culinary and social history during a very important period of its evolution.

In the 1950s and ‘60s Helen Brown was the culinary authority of the West Coast--Beard revered her, placing her on a par with M. F. K. Fisher. Brown and Beard wrote each other at least twice a week until Helen Brown’s untimely death in 1964, sharing their gastronomic musings and the results of their daily inspirations--many of which would later appear in their books. Both traveled extensively, and in their warm epistolary dialogues they expounded on their philosophy of eating, the art of cooking, and their often exotic forays into foreign cuisines. Beard loved food--good food--and his exuberance and enthusiasm are both overwhelming and infectious. He was also demanding and exacting, and never minced words when served a meal he considered less than perfect. Thus his correspondence is spiced with his utterly charming yet often caustic views on food, wine, and the art of eating. This lively correspondence between two food giants, thoughtfully culled and put into context by Beard’s close friend and editor John Ferrone, is also a testament to a beautiful and moving friendship."

Here's the recipe. If you love Italian Sausages as I do, you will find this a wonderful recipe with very small effort required. Serve with salad and some garlic bread. Pass parmigiano reggiano on the side.

Italian Sausages and Spaghetti

1 lb sweet Italian sausages, sliced into 1/4" pieces (mine were a little thicker than this)
3 onions, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced (I pressed mine)
1 lb mushrooms, sliced (food processor!)
1 #2 1/2 can tomatoes (I used crushed tomatoes)
1 tsp basil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup chopped black olives
1 lb spaghetti
Fry the sausages for 5 minutes. Pour off most of the fat. Add the onions and garlic, and saute for 10 minutes.[note: I pressed my garlic through a garlic press--I used two cloves as we like garlic. I sauted the onions for 10 minutes and then I added to pressed garlic and sauted for a minute. I think that 10 minutes is too long--garlic could overcook.] Ad the tomatoes, basil, salt and pepper. Cover, and cook over low heat for 45 minutes, adding water if sauce becomes too thick. Correct seasoning. Ad the olives, and stir.

Pour over the spaghetti, toss lightly, and serve.


Dr. Bob said...

I can't comment on Italian sausages and spaghetti, but thought you would be interested in this link
regarding the CEO and chairman of FMD (a stock of interest to you); they are taking a 25% pay cut in light of the disappointing performance of the stock. Footnoted points out that they should cut their salaries 65% to be in line with the stock performance, but I agree with "footnoted" that this does earn them a "gold star".

Leisa said...

Hi Dr. Bob--Thanks for passing this information along. A 25% cut in salary is big. I would never be in the camp that pay raise or decrease should be commensurate with the stock price. There are many lovely companies that are not sexy that perform well but whose stock price does not play along. The obverse is also true--terrible companies with terrible fundamentals sometimes seems sexy and attract all kinds of money...for a while.