Pasta with my Grandmother’s sauce presentation

I decided to do my presentation on pasta with my Grandmother’s sauce because it is the food that takes me back to my childhood more than any other food. I remember that as a child we would gather every Sunday around my grandmother’s dinner table after mass and enjoy this dish. Although I love the flavor of it, its flavor alone is not the reason why I enjoy eating it so much. Every time I have this dish I relive a certain memory or feeling. It gives me the sense of family. The food is just the trigger to these memories and emotions. As a child, I did not care much for vegetables, so my grandmother would always try to find new ways to get me to eat my vegetables. One day, she decided to add pureed carrots, celery, and onion to the sauce she usually made and her recipe was born. To prepare her sauce you will need a quarter cup of olive oil, five garlic cloves, red pepper flakes, three carrots, two to three stalks of celery, one onion, seven to ten tomatoes depending on the size, 2 bay leaves, 2 tablespoons of butter, some basil, some nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste. Start by cooking the olive oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes together in a large pot. Be careful, these ingredients cook fast. This should only take about 15 seconds on high heat. Next, Blend tomatoes, onion, celery, and carrots and add to the pot. You want to add these immediately to the oil to avoid burning the garlic and red pepper. After that, add a pinch of nutmeg and the 2 bay leaves. Lower the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper taking into consideration that the pasta is cooked in salted water. Finally, remove from heat and stir in the butter and basil. To cook to pasta, start with a pound of your favorite dry pasta. There are many excellent brands out there that are usually only available at smaller specialty stores, but one of my favorites is the De Cecco brand and it can be purchased at most supermarkets. Add the pasta to pot of boiling salted water and cook for about ten minutes. The texture of the pasta should be “Al Dente,” this basically means that the pasta is cooked through but not mushy; there should be some resistance when biting into it. Once the pasta is cooked it is time to drain it and toss it with the sauce. To plate, scoop into a bowl and top it with more sauce, cheese, olive oil, and cheese. I like to refer to pasta as one of the original fusion foods because it took ingredients from all over the world to make a traditionally Italian dish. The noodles originated in china but Italians created many different shapes to better carry different sauces. Tomatoes are native to the Americas, but they were introduced to Europe by Spanish conquistadors and the spices were available because of the Indian spice trade. So, it took ingredients from all over the world to create this quintessentially Italian dish.

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