If you're like me, spaghetti was one of the very few dishes you would eat as a child without complaining. However, by the time you developed a taste for steak, you'd eaten so much spaghetti, you'd gotten kind of bored with it. That's where this week's recipe comes in; it's a way to reinvigorate boring-ass spaghetti without doing anything complicated.
The prep time takes a little longer than last week's dish, but it's slightly less involved. There's no batter to worry about, so you don't have to worry about the consistency of any of the elements. All you'll need is:
- 1 one-pound pack of spaghetti - 1 pack of ground pork sausage in a tube - salt
And honestly, you could probably make do without the salt. If you had to.
You'll want to set out the sausage to thaw about 12 hours before you start, but let's be realistic, you're more than likely going to end up defrosting it for ten minutes in the microwave. That's okay; that'll give you something to do while the big-ass pot of water is taking forever to come to a boil on the stove.
You'll need to use a big-ass pot of water because medium-ass pots are notorious for boiling over when used to cook spaghetti. You'll want to use about half of a one-pound pack of spaghetti; that'll set you up with roughly three very generous servings worth. Any more than that, and you'll be eating this stuff for a solid week. Plus you'd be spreading the sausage pretty thin, and nobody wants that.
Brown the sausage in a skillet. It's not complicated; cut the sucker open, dump it in the pan, and fry it on high-ish heat until it's not pink anymore. Stirring is a good idea. I added a little Italian seasoning because I happened to have some lying around, but it's not necessary unless you want to be a fancy gentleman like me. Those of you who are color-blind, call someone else in to confirm the meat's lack of pinkness. Undercooked pork is not to be screwed around with.
Once your water has reached what's called a "rolling boil" (that means it's bubbling like crazy), dump the spaghetti in. Don't dump it in before then, or it'll stick together obnoxiously. In fact, that's what the salt is for; somewhere between a teaspoon and a tablespoon of salt in the pot will keep the noodles from clumping together very nicely. For those titty babies among you who mewled about the sodium content of last week's entry, here is a recipe for low-sodium vegetarian white bean chili that looks absolutely flavorless. Choke on it.
Reduce the heat on the boiling spaghetti to allow it to simmer (that means it's still bubbling just a little bit) and go do something else for 15 or 20 minutes. Hell, you could probably watch an entire episode of The Office while you're waiting. Well... maybe not, that might overcook it. An episode of Metalocalypse would be better.
Did you ask me, "What happens when you overcook spaghetti?" It transforms into a deadly poison. It may also come to life and attack your pets. Better to just be safe and not overdo it.
You can drain the pasta if you want to (I just fished it out with this little spaghetti tool I've got) but DO NOT DRAIN THE MEAT. The juice is essential; it's going to be your sauce. Yes, that is correct: there is no marinara or alfredo or any other kind of traditional sauce served with this meal, it's just the sausage's natural juiciness. I think you'll be surprised at how well these two simple ingredients compliment one another. Once I tried this (I had literally nothing else to eat in the house), I never wanted to eat spaghetti any other way again.
Short version: brown meat, boil noodles, combine, eat.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.