Dad’s Spaghetti

Growing up, one of my most memorable dinners is what I warmly refer to as Dad’s Spaghetti.  My dad grew up in a true Italian household.  Well, except for the fact that my grandmother never used garlic.  Wha???? I’m not exactly sure why this was and by the time I was old enough to realize what was missing, she was gone.

Every time we would make the pilgrimage to Cleveland to visit her and Grandpa, she would make us either cavatelli or patches (two homemade Italian pasta dishes).  The minute I stepped through the door into their apartment building, aromas of Italian, Irish, German, and Jewish cooking would rush at me.  To this day, I can still smell it when I think real hard.

Going to their apartment meant two things:  good Italian cooking and bowls of sweets.  I think Grandma had a bowl of candy in every room of her house specifically for those little people in her life.

Dad is the second oldest in a family of five children (typical Catholic Italian family, no?), so helping in the kitchen was a must.  I am forever grateful that Grandma made him help out.  Between he and my mother, my love of food flourished from the time I was able to climb up on a kitchen chair and peer into the mixing bowls.

I have rambled on, but the point is my Dad makes on of my most favorite meals in the world. You know those dinners that don’t take any effort at all?  Yep, this is one of those.  All it takes is a little forethought.  Open a can, boil a pot of water, and throw it all together.  You can tweak it any way you want too.  Like veggies?  Add ’em in.  Garlic lover?  Add as much as you like.  It’s perfect with a salad, garlic bread, or some italian sausage, if that’s your thing.  Me?  I prefer the traditional way.  Simple, easy, effortless.

Dad’s Spaghetti
1 can diced tomatoes, Italian style (with juices)
1/2 can olive oil (fill the can from the diced tomatoes halfway full)
2 tsp garlic powder
salt & pepper to taste
1 pound spaghetti
parmesan cheese (optional)
crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

In a small saucepan, combine the tomatoes, olive oil, and garlic powder.  Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and let simmer for at least 30 minutes, but preferably 3 hours.  The longer you let the sauce simmer, the sweeter the tomatoes will get and the better the flavors will combine.

Cook your pasta in a big pot of boiling water until al dente.  Drain.  In a large bowl, combine your pasta sauce and your pasta.  I prefer to put the sauce down first and then add the spaghetti on top of it.  Then I toss it together with some tongs.

Tip:  After you’ve cooked your sauce, you can taste it and see if you need salt and pepper, or you can wait and finish the pasta with parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes.

My absolute favorite way to eat this spaghetti is with a couple slices of toast on the side I’ve rubbed with a clove of garlic.  Truth be told, I typically make a sandwich out of the two.

I like serving an easy Italian salad (what I called romaine, olive oil, vinegar, garlic & onion powders, and Italian seasoning when I was younger) with the pasta.  This is a great easy Saturday night meal.  Just combine the sauce on the stove and let cook while you do chores around the house.  It fills the entire home with warm scents of love.  For me, it brings me back to my childhood and reminds me of my Daddy.


3 thoughts on “Dad’s Spaghetti

  1. Pingback: “Dump” Chicken and Other Such Things | One Girl's Taste On Life

  2. I almost never comment, but i did some searching and wound up here Dads Spaghetti | One Girl’s Taste On Life. And I do have 2 questions for you if it’s allright.
    Could it be simply me or does it seem like some of the remarks look like they are coming from brain dead folks?

    😛 And, if you are posting on other sites, I’d like to keep up with everything fresh you have to post. Would you make a list of the complete urls of your community pages like your Facebook page, twitter feed, or linkedin profile?

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