Friday, May 21, 2010

Pssst, Pasta Party, Pass it on

The natives get restless, sly glances, quizzical looks about the same time every year. “Isn’t it time, you know, for the annual pasta party.” What started off as an innocent little payback for invites to your house for couples dinners has spiraled into a cast of thousands affair.

The original get together actually started out as a steamer party. For those who don’t know, steamers are little clams, we had them shipped overnight from Boston to Arizona, steamed them, dipped them in butter and ate them with beer and gusto. The problem, no matter how many times we begged and pleaded, people would willy nilly drop the shells in the yard to be gobbled up by my starving dogs. Let’s just say there is nothing that doesn’t bring you to full alert from a dead sleep like the sound of a retching dog at 2 AM.

My first thought was, maybe we need to thin the herd. Instead we opted to change the menu. What could feed the locust that wouldn’t break the bank? When I was in school, my mom would throw parties for all her all her philosophy graduate student buddies that involved lots of spaghetti and lots and lots of wine. We of course were drafted as unofficial under aged wait staff. I could adapt, I was sure of it.

Red Sauce
½ cup olive oil
2 cloves minced garlic
3 lb Italian sausage
2 ½ pounds pork chops
7-28 oz. cans whole tomatoes with basil (Progresso is the best)
12-6 az. Cans tomato paste
16 cups water
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 Tablespoons Oregano
2 Tablespoons Basil
1 Batch of Mom’s Meatballs

Heat olive oil in skillet with garlic, lightly brown sausage and pork chops. Transfer to big, and I mean big, pot. Add all of the remaining ingredients except for the meatballs. Cook over a low flame, stirring approximately ever y 10 minutes for about 4 hours or until it cooks down. Add Meatballs and continue to stir and cook for an additional 2 hours. DO NOT BURN. If you do, you’ll need to transfer to another big pot.

Mom’s meatballs
2 yellow onions chopped fine
6 pounds ground beef
2 cups dry Italian bread crumbs
3 cloves garlic minced
1 cup fresh parsley
4 eggs beaten
1 cup parmesan cheese

Combine above, mix well, form 1” meatballs and place on cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until lightly browned.

I’m giving you the big batch recipe, I don’t know how to make it smaller, one pot will feed about 30, yes you read that correctly 30 people. Special props go out to the Big Tuna, he is the world champ stirrer, never a burnt pot. We’ve had anywhere from 50 to 150 people at this somewhat annual event. By the time I sit down to eat, you can put a fork in me, I am done, done, done. This is not necessarily a fast and furious meal, but if you plan it right, you can freeze the leftovers for about a billion upcoming food events. That is of course you don’t end up giving away too many “doggie bags”. And just because I’ve given you the secret family recipe doesn’t excuse you from showing up next year, just bring your own lawn chair and wine.

P.S. I finally figured out how to let people leave comments on the website, I was too spastic to check all the right boxes to let you leave your snippets.

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