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National Spaghetti Day

Evidently yesterday was National Spaghetti Day. I know it's true 'cause I read it on Facebook. Then I confirmed said fact by checking on The Google and Wikipedia stated that January 4th is, indeed, a day of national celebration in honor of spaghetti.

Now, I'm not a fan of National Insert Whatever-the-hell Here Days (hang on, I guess I sort of celebrated National S'mores Day by drinking a delicious s'moretini), but I AM a fan of food. Especially pasta. In true I'm-justifying-this style, I opted to make spaghetti – okay, okay, I used linguine noodles but let's not split angel hairs – in order to give the day its due.

Of course, one cannot have any type of Italian food without consuming wine to complement it, and since this was a red sauce I opted for (of course) a Pinot noir. Bogle's, to be exact. Quite tasty.

I'm sure you're wondering what I put in my spaghetti sauce. I shall divulge (and confess) that it's a knock-off of Granny Bernier's recipe she learned from the Italian woman ("Mrs. Palermo") she lived next to when my dad was young (this was in Chicago, I believe).

The real recipe calls for tomatoes and onions grown in one's garden to start the sauce; my family sort of skips that old-school stuff and begins with a plain tomato sauce for a base (Mom prefers Old World Style RagĂș, which is what I also use).

After that one needs to add the following ingredients:
  • onions,
  • garlic,
  • Worcestershire (pronounced "woostah" in Massachusetts) sauce,
  • oregano,
  • some sort of hot sauce (Mom uses Tabasco; I use Sriracha or chili paste),
  • a hefty splash of red wine (that's my addition),
  • pepper (I think that's my addition, too) and
  • Italian sausage (browned).
Now, the ORIGINAL Granny recipe calls for mild Italian sausage links cut into "coins" and browned before being added to the sauce...since I'm a rebel I totally get the HOT Italian sausage (ground). I mean, who's got time to cut evenly-sliced coins, anyway? I'm sorry, Granny. 

After all these yummy ingredients are in the pot, it's best to let them simmer – so the flavors can "marry," as some chefs are wont to say – for at least an hour.

I put this meaty sauce over wheat noodles, serve it with some yummy garlic bread and pair it with a nice red wine (again, most often it's a Pinot noir...mainly because that's our favorite kind). After finishing that meal, it's mostly lying back on the couch watching TV because there's not much else one can do with a fully distended tummy.

Bon appetit, pasta lovers...I hope your National Spaghetti Day was as delicious as ours!