Breads and meals: it's the right time for a pasta party

Breads and meals: it’s the right time for a pasta party

Best Ever Fettuccine Alfredo is a simple pasta dish that showcases fresh ingredients.

Best Ever Fettuccine Alfredo is a simple pasta dish that showcases fresh ingredients.

Sophia Loren once said, “Everything you see I owe to spaghetti. It’s not that far from my own philosophy… and the size of the pants.

Reminds me of a recent lovely evening spent with friends and a bunch of homemade spaghetti noodles served by this county’s cutest hermit and his wife. He and I each year consult a delicious Brunswick stew and then sell it (for a donation) with the proceeds going to our local animal adoption center, the Friends of Stokes Shelter.

While I might be Brunswick’s stew cook, I have to say her homemade spaghetti noodles have a lot of what I cook to beat, hands down. But if you’re interested in any of these extremely limited edition Brunswick stews, let me know, as we’ll be taking orders soon.

But anyway, back to the noodles. Want an idea for a fun, great and affordable dinner? Invite friends over and have them bring a bottle of wine (or a drink of your choice, I mean you’re the host, aren’t you?) And some pasta sauce. You provide a big pot of al dente noodles, a salad and crusty bread. (If someone says, “Oh, I can’t cook anything,” just assign the bread, salad, or dessert.)

Everyone arrives with their gravy slow cookers, you serve the noodles and the instant * BANG * party. Everyone feels good knowing the pasta is on its way. This is how the aforementioned Noodle King and Queen served the gathering.

Here’s what I learned: Alfredo sauce mixed with pesto sauce is divine. All the sauces mixed and drizzled with bread are also delicious. Plus, I’ve learned that noodle making machines can be finicky and you better know what you’re doing and an outdoor propane cooker works just as well for noodles!

If you’d like to attend a party like this, I’ll share a few sauce options that you can easily make yourself at home. They travel well in a slow cooker set on low. Then if you like bread, I’m going to share my piece de resistance, the tomato bread. You won’t find it on my site. I served him for the Taste of Stokes events and he’s still gobbled up right away.

If your waistline is a factor to take into account at such a party, first you need to redefine your priorities and second, my friend Sophia Loren has the right philosophy on this: “I prefer to eat pasta and drink. wine than being a size zero ”.

Well done, Sophie.

Delicious hearty tomato sauce

2 tbsp. butter (2 tablespoons of vegetable oil if you stay vegan)

½ onion, chopped small

3 garlic cloves, chopped

1 15 ounces. can of tomato sauce

1 6-ounce can tomato paste

1 15 ounces. San Marzano tomatoes

1 large pinch of dried chipotle pepper

1 C. brown sugar

Salt and pepper to taste

3 tbsp. heavy cream (3 tablespoons of almond milk if you stay vegan)

In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and cook until tender – 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic. Cook for another 2 minutes. Add the tomato sauce, the paste and the san marzano tomatoes. Use a puree press and mash the tomatoes to release the juice. Add the chipotle pepper, sugar, salt and pepper. Heat over medium heat until the sauce is simmering. Simmer for as long as you like. Five minutes before serving, add the cream, taste and add more salt and pepper as desired.


• If you don’t have fresh onions, you can replace them with 1 tbsp. onion powder or half a cup of frozen chopped onion.

• Replacement of 1 Tbs. of garlic powder or 1 Tbs. of minced garlic in a jar is OK to replace fresh garlic.

• When you mash the tomatoes, mash them gently and it will leave the tomato sauce slightly lumpy. As the sauce cooks, the tomato pieces disintegrate.

• If you let the sauce simmer for too long and it gets too thick, just add a little water and stir.

• This sauce is perfect with meatballs! Use the leftovers to make a meatball sandwich!

• If you prefer a sauce with ground meat, simply brown some hamburger or sausage (or chicken / turkey) or a mixture of both and pour the contents into this sauce.

• This sauce can be multiplied for as many people as you want to cook.

Best Al Fredo Fettuccine

1 stick of butter

1 8 ounce block of cream cheese, cut into 1-inch cubes

¼ cup of parmesan

1 cup heavy cream

1 C. garlic powder

½ tsp. crushed black pepper

½ tsp. dried oregano

1 small can of fettuccine noodles (enough for 8 servings)

Fresh oregano for garnish

Salt and pepper to taste (very important; see instructions)

In a heavy medium saucepan, heat the butter and cream cheese on low. Add the Parmesan and the cream. Stir frequently. Whisk briskly if there are lumps. Add the garlic powder, crushed black pepper and dried oregano. Stir frequently so that the sauce does not stick to the bottom of the pan. If it starts to stick, lower the temperature.

While the ingredients for step one are melting, cook the fettuccine noodles according to package directions, but do not salt the water. When ready to serve, taste the sauce. Add salt if needed. Salt probably won’t be necessary as Parmesan is usually very salty on its own. Dip one of the cooked noodles in the sauce and taste it to see if it’s salty enough. Add salt to the sauce if necessary to make the combination taste good.

At the table, pour the sauce over the noodles and mix gently and serve immediately.

Tomato bread

1 loaf of ciabatta bread (it is important to use a hearty and crispy loaf type bread).

1 clove of garlic

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 tbsp. italian seasoning

1 Roma tomato

4 tbsp. Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven on the grill. Cut the ciabatta bread in half so that it opens like a book. Using the flat side of a chef’s knife, crush the garlic clove and peel the skin from the paper, rub the garlic on the bread. Set the garlic aside and use it later in another recipe (or put it in your freezer bag along with other broth ingredients – you do that, right?). Combine olive oil and Italian seasoning in a small bowl and whisk together. Baste cut sides of ciabatta bread. Place the bread in the oven and toast until the surface is crisp and golden (2-5 minutes).

Cut the tomato in half from the end of the stem to the end of the flower. When the bread is out of the oven and cool enough to touch, roughly rub the cut tomato over the bread so that the juice and some of the pulp and seeds press onto the bread. It’s okay to be a little rough with the tomato. When done, throw the tomato away or put it in the freezer bag you keep for making a broth or put it in your compost bin or give it to your chickens. Sprinkle with Parmesan and return to the oven for a minute or two. Out of the oven, cut the bread into diagonal strips for individual portions. Serve hot.

Wendi Spraker is CEO, Food Writer, Recipe Developer and Dishwasher at Loaves and Dishes and one of the Dorks with Sporks Duo, an Adventure in Take-Out mother-daughter podcast. Find it on our website at Dorks with Sporks or wherever you listen to podcasts.

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