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Step up to the spaghetti bar.

Pick and choose from colorful garnishes, mix and warm them with spaghetti . . . easy on the barbecue

The spaghetti's ready, and you use it as the foundation on which to create your own pasta meal--lean to lavish, plain to fancy. As at a salad bar, at this garden party you pick and choose among a colorful collection of garnishes; some just need heating, some should cook a bit, some are enjoyed as is. Mix and warm them with cooked plain spaghetti. The barbecue is the obvious answer to your need for plenty of cooking space, but camp stoves and portable burners work well, too. This menu is designed for 8 to 10 hungry people as enthusiastic about the cooking as about the eating.

Spaghetti-bar supper

Spaghetti Ready on the Barbecue

Raw and Cooked Garnishes

Green Salad Sourdough Bread

Strawberries Grapes Nectarines

Biscotti or Amaretti Cookies

Orvieto or Dry Sauvignon Blanc

Mineral Water

Have at least 1 frying pan (6- to 10-in. sizes are best) for every 3 guests. Have potholders and cooking spoons handy.

Spaghetti Ready on the Barbecue

Raw and cooked garnishes

(choices follow)

About 1 cup extra-virgin or regular

olive oil

Ready spaghetti (recipe follows)

About 1/2 pound freshly grated

parmesan cheese Have a barbecue with a solid bed of hot coals (you should be able to hold your hand at grill level for only 1 to 2 seconds). When charcoal briquets are almost covered with ash, scatter 10 to 15 more over coals to maintain steady heat, then add same amount every 30 minutes until you expect to cook no more than 30 minutes more. Or fire up several portable burners, such as camp stoves. Add to a frying pan, without crowding, your choice of garnishes and a little oil to moisten. Place over heat and stir often until ingredients are cooked to suit your taste. Then add a portion of spaghetti and stir until it is warm, about 2 minutes. At this point you may want to add more garnishes (ones that don't need any cooking). Then pour the pasta onto a plate, top with cheese, and eat. Wipe pan with paper towels and set aside until ready to try another combination. Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Ready spaghetti. In a 6- to 8-quart pan, bring 4 quarts water to a boil on high heat. Add 2 pounds dry thin spaghetti or vermicelli. Cook, uncovered, until tender to bite, about 12 minutes. Drain, pour into a large bowl, and mix well with 2 tablespoons olive oil. If made ahead, cover lightly and let stand up to 4 hours; mix again before serving. Makes about 15 1-cup servings. Per cup: 239 cal.; 7.5 g protein; 2.5 g fat; 46 g carbo.; 1.2 mg sodium; 0 mg chol.

Raw and cooked garnishes

Browned Italian sausage nuggets. Remove casings from 1 pound each mild and hot Italian sausage (or use all 1 kind). Crumble meat into a 10- to 12-inch frying pan; cook over medium-high heat, stirring often until well browned, 25 to 30 minutes; discard fat. If made ahead, cover and chill up to 2 days. Makes 3 cups. Per 1/4 cup: 179 cal.; 11 g protein; 14 g fat; 0.8 g carbo.; 510 mg sodium; 43 mg chol.

Tiny shrimp. Put 1 pound shelled cooked tiny shrimp in a small bowl. Per 1/4 cup: 37 cal.; 7.9 g protein; 0.4 g fat; 0 g carbo.; 85 mg sodium; 74 mg chol.

Golden onions. Peel and thinly slice 4 large (about 2 lb.) onions. Put onions and 2 tablespoons olive oil in a 5- to 6-quart pan. Stir often on medium-high heat until onions are golden and sweet-tasting, 35 to 40 minutes. If made ahead, cover and chill up to 2 days. Makes 2 cups. Per 1/4 cup: 65 cal.; 1.2 protein; 3.6 g fat; 7.5 g carbo.; 2 mg sodium; 0 mg chol.

Sauteed mushrooms. Rinse and drain 1 pound small (about 1 in. caps) mushrooms. In a 10- to 12-inch frying pan, combine mushrooms and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Cover and cook over medium heat until mushrooms are juicy, then uncover. Stir often on medium-high heat until liquid evaporates and mushrooms are lightly browned, 5 to 10 minutes longer. If made ahead, cover and chill up to 2 days. Makes about 1 3/4 cups. Per 1/4 cup: 33 cal.; 1.3 g protein; 2.2 g fat; 3 g carbo.; 2.6 mg sodium; 0 mg chol.

Red pimientos. Drain 2 small jars (4 oz. each) chopped pimientos; put pimientos into a small bowl. Makes 1 cup. Per tablespoon: 1.9 cal.; 0 g protein; 0 g fat; 0.4 g carbo.; 1.7 mg sodium; 0 mg chol.

Marinated artichokes. Pour 1 jar (6 oz.) marinated artichoke hearts and marinade into a small bowl. Makes about 3/4 cup. Per tablespoon drained artichokes: 13 cal.; 0.3 g protein; 1.1 g fat; 1.1 g carbo.; 73 mg sodium; 0 mg chol.

Green and gold vegetable confetti. Trim ends from 2 medium-size zucchini. Peel 2 medium-size carrots. Rinse and drain vegetables, then finely shred in a food processor or on a shredder. Mix to blend colors. If made ahead, cover and chill up to 4 hours. Makes about 4 cups. Per 1/4 cup: 6.8 cal.; 0.3 g protein; 0 g fat; 1.5 g carbo.; 3.8 mg sodium; 0 mg chol.

Cherry tomatoes. Stem, rinse, and halve 2 cups cherry tomatoes. Put in a small bowl; if done ahead, cover and let stand up to 4 hours. Makes 2 cups. Per 1/4 cup: 9.4 cal.; 0.4 g protein; 0.1 g fat; 2.2 g carbo.; 3.9 mg sodium; 0 mg chol.

Green onions. Trim ends from 8 green onions, then thinly slice onions and tops, and mound in a small bowl. If made ahead, cover and chill up to 4 hours. Makes 1 1/4 cups. Per tablespoon: 1.5 cal.; 0.1 g protein; 0 g fat; 0.3 g carbo.; 0.2 mg sodium; 0 mg chol.

Bell pepper slivers. Remove stems and seeds from 2 medium-size yellow or green bell peppers (or 1 of each color), then cut into thin slivers. Place in a small bowl. If made ahead, cover and chill up to 4 hours. Makes about 2 cups. Per 1/4 cup: 4.6 cal.; 0.2 g protein; 0.1 g fat; 0.9 g carbo.; 0.5 mg sodium; 0 mg chol.

Herb bouquet. Rinse and drain fresh herbs such as basil, thyme, sage, and oregano; put stems into a small vase with water. Or have jars of the dried herbs.

Garlic bowl. You need 1/2 cup minced garlic; buy prepared minced garlic, or mince or mash your own; spoon into a small bowl. Per tablespoon: 15 cal.; 0.6 g protein; 0 g fat; 3.3 g carbo.; 1.7 mg sodium; 0 mg chol.
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Title Annotation:recipes
Publication:Sunset
Date:May 1, 1990
Words:1173
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