Wednesday, March 24, 2010

New in Freelance Food: Home-made tinned spaghetti. I seem to be obsessed with bland, crappy instant foods of late, because today I had a craving for tinned spaghetti. Unfortunately I did not have any, so I had to make my own from scratch. It is fancier than the tinned stuff.

Chop 1 onion finely and add to a heavy-bottomed pan along with a dessertspoon each of minced garlic and chilli. Fry this until soft. Add a bit of red capsicum that you found in your crisper drawer, diced. Cook this for a couple of minutes, then add a generous dessertspoon of tomato paste and a slosh of cooking sherry.

Get enough spaghetti to be the diameter of a five-cent coin when held in a bunch. Break into thirds and add to the pan, along with 500ml of vegetable stock. (I used Vegeta stock powder and I made the stock a little weak so that the final dish wouldn't be too salty.) Allow pasta to cook in stock, stirring the pan occasionally to prevent it from sticking. When the stock is almost absorbed, add a slosh of milk and mix well in. Continue to cook.

Grate a generous handful (or two) of cheese and, when the liquid is almost absorbed again, add to the pan and stir through until it has melted. Add shitloads of cracked pepper. I like cheesy tinned spaghetti, but I suppose you could omit this step, and the milk step, if you like the plain tomato sauce.

Turn heat off and transfer spaghetti to a bowl. It has a nice lively flavour, thanks to the chilli. I ate it straight up, but I guess you could eat it on toast for that authentic tinned spaghetti experience.

More authentically still, you need to serve it in a piece of crockery that simulates a tin of Campbell's spaghetti.
This looks divine. I'm getting over tonsillitis and the only thing I wanted when I was sick was tuna mornay - stodgy, salty, cheesy. Had I known of this recipe I would have demanded that someone cook it for me! There's something so comforting about spaghetti-from-a-tin.
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