12 Easy Recipes with Cheese, Mushrooms and Pasta
What have cheese, mushrooms, and pasta in common which brings them together in
the same section of a book on cookery? At first glance, not too much; at second
glance, a few things—cheese, mushrooms, and spaghetti, along with other items—
combine to make several good recipes, as for example, Chicken Tetrazzini. As a
matter of fact, all pasta dishes are the better for cheese, and a great many pasta
dishes call for mushrooms. Cooked separately in recipes of which each is the main
ingredient, all make fine luncheon or supper dishes but are not spectacular at dinner.
Each is probably at its best at a late party, post-theater or after the ball is over.
There is a wide variety of recipes for using cheese, there is a wide variety of cheese, so
that within reason you can alter the flavor of almost any cheese dish by altering the
cheese or by combining two or more cheeses in a recipe which called originally for
only one. Cheese souffle makes a fine guinea pig. Make it with Cheddar, American
sharp, or Cheshire, or, as in the case of the present book, Swiss. There is another
souffle which calls for Swiss and Roquefort. I do not like the result, but others do.
The point is that with one recipe for a souffle, you can produce a dozen different
results. The same thing is true of most cheese recipes. Hence, in addition to having
cheese available as a flavoring agent in many things, you will want to keep a
reasonably large variety of it in your pantry for soufflés and other recipes. Parmesan
and similar cheeses usually grated for sprinkling over cooked food should be bought
in solid blocks and grated just before being served.
Except for flavoring or for combining with other foods, mushrooms do not have the
wide culinary applicability of cheese. Large edible fungi, seldom seen in the United
States, can be given many different treatments and made into a wide variety of
enticing dishes. But the mushrooms normally sold or grown commercially here have
distinct limitations when served by themselves as a principal part of a meal. As hors
d'oeuvre, of course, they have many uses. The two mushroom recipes which follow,
particularly the first, admit of considerable variation in seasoning, but one of the
charms of the recipe is its simplicity, and too many efforts to experiment with
seasoning will make it complex and destroy its chief appeal.
Pasta is almost infinite in its variety, both as to form and as to treatment. Whole
books have been written about spaghetti alone. The recipes suggested are samples of
what can be done and bases for experiment and further development. There are at
least half a dozen meat sauces, many more seafood sauces, and a vast number of
other kinds of sauces. The seven pasta examples will not give you even a good cross
section of Italian cookery in this field alone, nor is that their purpose. What I have
attempted to do is include a few samples of pasta which would serve as quick and
handy recipes for unexpected entertaining, or for use as a pasta course at more
The truth is that I had wanted to include these particular recipes because I like them.
There seemed no other appropriate section in which to put them, and in view of the
common denominators mentioned in the opening paragraph, they were lumped
together in this section.
CHEESE WINSE SERVES 4
This little dish is a little like Welsh Rabbit; like Welsh Rabbit its name has little to do
with its content. The name, derives, I believe, either from a typographical error—the
results of some such errors are stupendous—or from an unfortunate draw at
scrabble. Certainly it is too suggestive a word to be lost. The dish itself is appropriate
for luncheon or supper, but it is most effective at a late supper party when chafing
dish cookery really comes into its own. Cheddar cheese would be even better than
sharp cheese. The pickled walnut juice is not essential, but it adds piquancy.
1 POUND SHARP CHEESE
1 SMALL GREEN PEPPER
2 SMALL ONIONS
1 TIN TOMATOES, ABOUT l½ CUPS
l½ CUPS MILK
4 TABLESPOONS BUTTER
3 TABLESPOONS FLOUR
3 TABLESPOONS BRANDY
½ TEASPOON SALT
½ TEASPOON PEPPER
2 TABLESPOONS PICKLED WALNUT JUICE
Grate the cheese or cut it into dice. Mince the green pepper and the onions. Drain the
tomatoes. Scald the milk. Melt the butter in the top of a double boiler or chafing dish
and sauté in it the minced onion and green pepper until soft. Place the container over
water boiling in the lower half of the double boiler or chafing dish. Add flour and mix
into a roux. Cook for about five minutes, stirring constantly. Gradually add the hot
milk to make a thick sauce. While it is cooking slowly, heat the brandy, light it, and
pour it into the sauce. When the flame has died, add the tomatoes, stir them in well,
breaking them up as you stir. Gradually add the grated cheese. When it has melted,
season with salt, pepper, and walnut juice. Let cook another five minutes, and serve.
Cheese Winse should be served over freshly made toast. While no vegetables are
required, any simple green vegetable such as peas or green beans will go well with it.
Mixed Green Salad III (qv) is recommended to follow. Beer accompanies it better
than wine, but if wine is what you want let it be light and white, as for example a
SWISS CHEESE SOUFFLE SERVES 4
No proper cookbook, except a highly specialized one, would be complete without a
recipe for a cheese souffle. Soufflés are chancy things and take a bit of experimenting,
chiefly with oven temperatures, before you can be sure that the result you envision
will be the result you will get. Despite automation and thermometers, each stove has
its idiosyncrasies, so the result of your first attempt at this recipe may not be what
you expect. Do not despair, but try again; in the end you will come up with something
special and fancy. Once the correct oven temperature has been established for your
stove, you will have no more difficulty. Most soufflés are made with sharp cheese of
one sort or another, and you will find that Swiss cheese gives a different and, I think,
more interesting taste. Try it for luncheon or supper, or even at Sunday brunch.
It may be cooked in a single, large ovenproof serving dish, or in individual ramekins.
If you use the former, allow about fifteen per cent more cooking time. Soufflés should
always be served at the table, but as they "fall" very quickly, be sure your guests are
seated before you serve. Remember the old admonition: "If the guests are to fall for
the souffle, the souffle must not fall for the guests."
4 OUNCES SWISS CHEESE
2 TABLESPOONS BUTTER
1 TIN CONDENSED CREAM OF CHICKEN SOUP
1 CUP SOFT BREAD CRUMBS
Grate the cheese or dice it fine. Place the butter in a large saucepan and melt: it over
a slow fire. Add the grated cheese and stir with a wooden; spoon until it is well
blended with the melted butter. Add the cream of chicken soup and the bread
crumbs. Sprinkle well with salt and pepper, using not too much salt. Stir until the
whole is a homogenous mixture, and remove from the fire. While it is cooling,
separate the eggs. Beat the yolks and stir in well. Fold in the stiffly beaten whites. The
mixture should be smooth and the same color and texture throughout. Divide it
among four individual ramekins, and place in a pre-heated, moderate oven (350
degrees) for thirty minutes, or until risen and browned well on top. Remove and
serve at once. Toast, rolls, or salt sticks will go well with the souffle but are not
essential. A Greenbrier Salad (qv) or cold asparagus spears with mayonnaise should
accompany it, along with a chilled, light, Rose wine similar to Bouquet de Provence.
For dessert I should suggest something light, possibly fresh fruit alone, but never, not
ever, ice cream in any form.
WELSH RABBIT SERVES 4
Of the; hundreds of luncheon and supper dishes and late snacks, the most famous
and the most often misspelled is Welsh Rabbit. To call it a "rarebit" takes all the
humor out of the name and is wrong to boot. According to the late eminent English
lexicographer, H. W. Fowler, ".…Welsh rabbit is amusing and right, and Welsh
rarebit is stupid and wrong." Webster, the standard American authority, points out
that "rarebit" is erroneously used for "rabbit" in the name of this delicacy. Regardless
of the spelling, it is good, quick, and easy to prepare either in the kitchen or in a
chafing dish at the table, and does not deserve its reputation for indigestibility.
Almost any kind of hard English or American cheese may be used. The better the
cheese, the better the result. I prefer Cheddar; Cheshire is good; so are any of the
sharper cheeses. The recipe below makes a fairly "hot" rabbit. You may reduce its
"temperature" by reducing the quantity of, or eliminating entirely, some of the
condiments. Contrariwise, you may make the rabbit even "hotter" by adding a
teaspoon of curry powder, which will also sweeten the taste a little, not always an
1 POUND CHEESE
1 TABLESPOON BUTTER
½ PINT BEER OR ALE
1 TEASPOON SALT
2 TABLESPOONS PAPRIKA
1 TEASPOON DRY MUSTARD
1 TABLESPOON WORCESTERSHIRE SAUCE
1 DASH TABASCO
1 PINCH CAYENNE PEPPER
Photo owned by Jiel Beaumadier
Grate, grind, or dice the cheese. Beat the eggs lightly. In a chafing dish or large
skillet—a double boiler may be used but is unnecessary if the dish is constantly
stirred as it should be—melt the butter; pour in the beer or ale. As soon as the beer is
hot, but before it boils, add the cheese. From now on the ingredients must be stirred
continuously. When the cheese has become creamy, add the eggs and then the
seasonings. Once the rabbit has thickened and is thoroughly hot, it should be served
immediately on hot toast on very hot plates. Toast made from ordinary white bread
will do, but French bread toasted and slightly charred over an open flame adds to the
taste of the dish.
With Welsh Rabbit goes beer. Obviously no other drink will do, except, oddly
enough, champagne. As for vegetables, none is necessary, and none really goes well
except raw ones such as: carrots, or cabbage, or turnips, or unadorned lettuce.
BROILED MUSHROOMS SERVES 2
Mushrooms are so often used to add flavor or volume to other food, such as chicken à
la king, mushroom gravy, or spaghetti, that one is apt to lose sight of the fact that
they themselves provide some succulent dishes. This recipe and the following one are
examples. Broiled mushrooms on toast are very easy to prepare and low in calories.,
if that matters. And if it really matters you can broil or grill them without butter, but
they must then be watched carefully and turned frequently to prevent scorching.
Butter adds flavor, however, and keeps the little fungi from drying up. In either case,
overcooking will make them tough.
l6 MEDIUM MUSHROOMS
4 PATS OF BUTTER
2 TEASPOONS FINELY CHOPPED PARSLEY
Remove and discard the stems from the mushrooms. Lightly grease with butter a flat,
low-sided pan. Arrange the mushroom caps, top down, on the pan, and place a
quarter of a pat of butter in each upturned cap. Place the pan under the broiler, and
cook the mushrooms under a moderately high flame for about ten minutes. Remove
the pan from the broiler, turn each cap over, baste with butter, and replace under the
flame. Baste again in about two minutes. When the caps are golden brown on top, the
mushrooms are done. Remove from the pan, arrange on buttered toast from which
you have cut the crust, season lightly with salt and pepper, garnish with a few pieces
of minced parsley on each cap, and serve.
Half a broiled tomato on each plate will not only add to the appearance of the dish
but to its taste as well. Follow it with a raw Spinach Salad (qv) and serve with it a
bottle of Barbera, one of Italy's good, light red wines.
MUSHROOMS KNUDSON SERVES 2
Mushrooms Knudson belongs in that category of recipes which were invented during
World War II, when meat cost red ration points as well as money. Mushrooms were
point free and considerably cheaper than meat—or than they are now, for that
matter. More elaborate than broiled mushrooms, and fancier, these are, nonetheless,
quickly prepared and supply an unusual main course for a formal luncheon, informal
dinner, or supper. They are also a good example of how a little wine used judiciously
in the kitchen can appreciably alter the taste and appearance of food and add variety
to your menus. The number of mushrooms needed will, of course, vary with their
size. Six large ones or eight medium are about right for each person. The sherry must
be dry. Curry powder tends to sweeten, and anything but a really dry sherry here is
12 LARGE MUSHROOMS
4 TABLESPOONS BUTTER
¼ CUP CREAM
2 TABLESPOONS CHOPPED PARSLEY
1 TABLESPOON PAPRIKA
¼ TEASPOON CURRY POWDER
¼ CUP DRY SHERRY
½ TEASPOON SALT
¼ TEASPOON PEPPER
2 SPRIGS WATER CRESS
Remove the mushroom stems and mince them. Melt the butter in a large skillet, add
cream, chopped parsley, paprika, curry powder, sherry, salt, and pepper. Mix well
together. When hot add the mushroom caps and cook slowly for about ten minutes,
turning the mushrooms several times.
Stir in the minced mushroom stems, cover, and simmer slowly for another ten
minutes. If the sauce is too thick, thin with more sherry; if too liquid, remove the
cover and simmer a little longer to let some of the liquid evaporate. Arrange the
mushrooms on toast triangles, pour the sauce over them, garnish with water cress
Mixed Green Salad II (qv) or raw Spinach Salad (qv) served with the mushrooms in
lieu of a vegetable would be enough for luncheon or supper. For dinner you might
add fresh asparagus, followed by one of the salads. I confess to a weakness for red
Chianti with these mushrooms, no doubt from old association. Peaches Tiberius (qv)
would make a good dessert.
EFFIE'S ESPERANZA SERVES 4
There once was a girl named Effie, whose virtues included, among others, the ability
to cook this excellent pasta. She was willing enough to part with the recipe, but she
apparently made up her mind not to reveal the origin or the significance of the title.
There are three Latin-American towns with that name; perhaps a visit to one of them
might provide a clue. Meanwhile you can enjoy the dish, which is a little like
Spaghetti Bianca (qv) in composition but quite different in appearance and taste. You
will find it handy at luncheon, supper, or a late party. It also serves as a replacement
for soup at a more formal meal—in the Italian manner—when it could well be
followed by veal in some form or other.
8 OUNCES NOODLES
1/3 CUP CREAMY COTTAGE CHEESE
2 OUNCES CREAM CHEESE
¼ CUP SOUR CREAM
1 JAR BABY FOOD SPINACH
¼ CUP WHITE WINE
6 SPRING ONIONS
1 TEASPOON SALT
½ TEASPOON PEPPER
½ TEASPOON NUTMEG
2 TABLESPOONS GRATED PARMESAN CHEESE
2 TABLESPOONS BUTTER
Boil the noodles in a large quantity of salted water for about twelve minutes. While
the noodles are boiling, mix in a bowl the cottage cheese, cream cheese, sour cream,
spinach, and white wine until you have a comparatively smooth mixture. Chop the
onions fine, including half the tops. Add the onions, the salt, pepper, and nutmeg to
the bowl, and stir them well in. Drain the noodles. Butter a casserole generously,
place the noodles in it, and pour on the cheese mixture. Stir it well. Sprinkle the
grated Parmesan cheese over the top and dot with butter. Place the casserole in a
pre-heated, moderate oven (350 degrees), and bake for thirty minutes. Serve hot.
If this is to be your main course, you may serve it with any green vegetable which in
your opinion goes well with pasta, such as peas, whole baby beets, or green beans. In
any event it should be followed by a Mixed Green Salad I or II (qv). The wine should
be red and Italian, either Chianti or Barbera. Eve's Dessert (qv) would put an
excellent finish to the meal.
LASAGNE CONDOTTBERE SERVES 6
Because of the time required to make a good lasagne, there was some doubt about
including a recipe for it. This version can be produced in a little less than an hour.
You will have to work mighty fast—a euphemism for hurry like hell—but it can be
done if you use condensed tomato soup to make the sauce. A lasagne is among the
best of the pasta dishes and has all the excitement of a grab bag, because one never
knows just what goodies will be found in it. It is splendid for Sunday supper—when
presumably you will not have to work so rapidly—and good at any meal except
brunch, where it would be just a little too much.
Photo owned by Jules Stone Soup
1 LARGE ONION, CHOPPED FINE
1 POUND LASAGNE
4 TABLESPOONS OLIVE OIL
½ POUND MOZZARELLA CHEESE
4 OUNCES PEPPERONI
3 TINS CONDENSED TOMATO SOUP
FRESH BLACK PEPPER
1 CUP GRATED PARMESAN CHEESE
Chop the onion fine. Cook the lasagne according to the directions on the box. (If you
buy it loose, it should be cooked in lots of rapidly boiling, well-salted water for about
fifteen minutes, drained, and kept in cold water until needed.) Put the olive oil in a
large saucepan over a medium flame, and when it is hot, add the chopped onion.
Slice the Mozzarella and the pepperoni very thin. When the onion has become
golden, add the tomato soup and about one teaspoon freshly ground black pepper,
and let the sauce cook for about ten minutes. In an ovenproof dish, arrange a layer of
lasagne, cover with a layer of Mozzarella cheese and about a dozen slices of
pepperoni. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and cover with the tomato sauce. Then
start over again with another layer of lasagne, building up the second layer like the
first. Continue building the layers of pasta, cheese, pepperoni, and sauce, until the
dish is full or the ingredients all used. Add a final sprinkling of Parmesan cheese, and
bake in a hot oven (450 degrees) for about twenty minutes.
Serve the lasagne by cutting it from top to bottom with a large spoon, thus giving
each guest a complete cross section. With it you will want no vegetables, but a large
Mixed Green Salad I or III (qv) and a red Italian wine, either Chianti or Barolo.
Fragole Marsala (qv) makes an excellent dessert.
FETTUCINE AL BURRO SERVES 4
Fettucine means ribbons, and is a pasta dish not often found in the United States but
much esteemed abroad, not only in Italy, but also in many other countries. It merits
a place on anyone's table. The type described here is based on that made famous by
the original Alfredo's restaurant in Rome—at last report there were at least five
restaurants there doing business under the maestro's name, What made Alfredo's
noodles so soft and fluffy was the high proportion of eggs to flour in the pasta itself.
Just what that proportion was, was his secret, but the result literally did melt in your
mouth. A huge platter of fettucine was placed before you—more than you thought
you could possibly eat. With much fanfare, Alfredo himself came and, with
flourishing spoon and fork, mixed the cheese and butter into it. In a matter of
minutes you had emptied the platter and found yourself, much to your astonishment,
prepared to welcome the next course with relish.
Photo owned by W3stfa11
The following recipe will not make you another Alfredo, although, of course, you
could make your own pasta and by trial and error might discover his secret. In the
interest of time, you may prefer to start with a box of fettucine, purchasable at any
good Italian food shop. You may even use packaged noodles: the long wide flat type,
not the variety usually found in noodle soup.
1 POUND FETTUCINE OR NOODLES
3/8 POUND BUTTER
1 CUP GRATED PARMESAN CHEESE
Cook the fettucine in rapidly boiling, salted water until done, eight to twelve minutes.
Taste a small piece from time to time until it is tender. Drain and place on a very hot
platter. Melt the butter. Add the cheese to the butter, and let the mixture get
thoroughly hot, stirring constantly. Pour it over the fettucine, and toss until your
"little ribbons" are well coated—but be quick about it. Serve immediately with
additional grated cheese on the side.
Fettucine may replace the soup course at dinner or constitute the main dish at any
other meal. In either event it is best preceded by an antipasto, and not followed by a
salad. As vegetables I should suggest peas, chopped broccoli, or, preferably, zucchini.
With it I like Orvieto or Frascati; if these are not available, white Chianti will do
handsomely. The dessert could be only a Rum Omelette (qv), made at the table to the
soft music of a violin.
RAVIOLI OREGANO SERVES 4
Ravioli, whether stuffed with meat, chicken, or vegetables, is a simple Italian dish
well suited to luncheon or supper. It is not too difficult to make from scratch if you
are handy with pastry, but it does take a goodish bit of time. You may, however, serve
it quickly and readily by taking advantage of a wide selection of ravioli now available
in tins and jars. Re-seasoned as described in this recipe, commercially prepared
ravioli becomes an extremely useful item to have on your pantry shelves. It requires
only a few moments to "doctor" and heat. Moreover, it matters not whether your
luncheon is for one guest or several, or even whether your guests are totally
unexpected: you merely open more ravioli. A single jar is a little too much for one
person and not enough for two people—the little pastries run about ten to the jar. If
the variety you buy seems short on sauce, rectify this omission by adding a few
tablespoons of condensed tomato soup.
3 JARS RAVIOLI IN TOMATO SAUCE
1 TEASPOON ORÉGANO
¼ TEASPOON BLACK PEPPER
2 TEASPOONS GRATED PARMESAN CHEESE
2 DASHES TABASCO (OPTIONAL BUT GOOD)
Place the ravioli in a saucepan or skillet, sprinkle with orégano, pepper, and cheese.
Add the Tabasco. Heat over a slow fire, and stir gently with a wooden rather than a
metal spoon to avoid cutting the pastry. When thoroughly hot, serve with additional
grated Parmesan cheese on the side.
This ravioli, accompanied by a bottle of red Chianti and followed by a Greenbrier
Salad (qv) and Gorgonzola cheese, makes about as good a quick lunch as you can
have. Buttered, hot French bread goes well with both the food and the wine.
SPAGHETTI BIANCA SERVES 6
Spaghetti has become almost as American as Italian. It is a favourite for Sunday
suppers in many parts of the United States; it is served extensively for late suppers;
and is almost a fixture at informal buffet dinners. Yet few spaghetti dishes lend
themselves to speedy preparation. Their sauces usually require several hours to cook,
and more than any other single food, spaghetti depends upon sauces. Spaghetti
Bianca is a notable and palatable exception as far as speed is concerned. The sauce
can be made in little more time than the spaghetti takes to boil properly, or a total,
say, of twenty minutes. If you like garlic, this is the place for it. You may add another
clove or two. The quantities listed here will suffice for six moderately hungry people
for supper or a late party. The dish is a little heavy for luncheon.
1 POUND THIN SPAGHETTI
5 TABLESPOONS PARSLEY, FINELY CHOPPED
6 TABLESPOONS BUTTER
4 TABLESPOONS OLIVE OIL
3 CLOVES GARLIC
2 CUPS CREAM
½ TEASPOON ORÉGANO
¼ TEASPOON ROSEMARY
2 TEASPOONS SALT
1 TEASPOON BLACK PEPPER
l½ CUPS GRATED PARMESAN CHEESE
While the spaghetti is cooking in rapidly boiling, salted water—ten to twelve minutes
should make it tender—chop the parsley fine. Melt the butter in a large saucepan;
add the olive oil. When these are hot, add the garlic, minced, or put it through a
garlic press, and cook over a low heat, but do not let it burn. Add the parsley, cream,
orégano, rosemary, salt, and pepper, and continue to cook over a low fire. By now the
spaghetti should be cooked. Drain it and add to the saucepan. The result will look
unfortunate, but have faith—the cheese will pull the dish together. Add it a little at a
time, stirring it well into the mixture with a wooden spoon, keeping the fire low. By
the time all the cheese has been used, the dish will have taken on a meritorious
appearance. It will taste even better than it looks. Remove to a large hot platter and
serve with grated cheese on the side.
Mixed Green Salad II (qv), with an extra quantity of tomatoes, will go very well with
this spaghetti. Better than the salad, perhaps, but to the same purpose, would be an
antipasto before the spaghetti. With it you will want wine; either a red Chianti or
Inglenook Napa Valley red wine (from Gamay grapes). For dessert, try Raspberry
SPAGHETTI VONGOLE SERVES 4
Despite its wide popularity in the United States, spaghetti is usually thought of in
terms of meat or tomato sauce. This is an unfortunate thought, for spaghetti, in the
matter of sauces, is almost as versatile as rice. The next time you have a yen for
spaghetti, try it with a sauce made from clams. There are a number of such recipes,
but the quickest method, and one which gives excellent results, is based on the use of
tinned clams, already cooked and minced. The dish makes a fine pasta course, or an
equally good main course at a less elaborate meal, whether it be luncheon, dinner, or
This sauce may look a little thin before you put it on the spaghetti, but it will be
quickly absorbed. Two cloves of garlic, well minced, could replace the garlic powder.
2 TABLESPOONS MINCED PARSLEY
1 POUND SPAGHETTI
2 TINS MINCED CLAMS
½ CUP OLIVE OIL
l½ TEASPOONS GARLIC POWDER
1 TEASPOON ITALIAN RED PEPPER
½ TEASPOON SALT
Photo owned by Ayustety
Mince the parsley very fine. Cook the spaghetti in a large quantity of rapidly boiling
salted water for twelve to fifteen minutes. Drain the clams, reserving the juice. Place
the olive oil and clam juice in a large skillet, and heat slowly. When hot, add the
garlic powder, the parsley, and the Italian pepper. Continue to cook slowly for about
ten minutes. Add the salt and the minced clams; stir well. While the mixture is
heating through, drain the spaghetti, and place on a hot platter. Pour the sauce over
it, mix well, and serve.
Whether served as a pasta course, or a main dish at supper, Spaghetti Vongole
requires no vegetables, but if you want one, baby carrots—they come in tins—would
be both appropriate and good. The salad should be fairly elaborate: Mangoleekee
(qv), for example, or Mixed Green II (qv). A Frascati or a Lachryma Christi, or any
other similar dry white wine will complement this dish. Here, again, the best dessert
is fresh fruit.
SPEEDY SPAGHETTI CON CARNE SERVES 4
It is obviously impossible to combine two tinned soups, some seasoning, and a pound
of hamburger into a quick meat sauce for spaghetti which will be as good as a proper
sauce made from the normal ingredients and cooked slowly all afternoon. This recipe
will produce, nevertheless, in about fifty minutes, a most acceptable substitute. It is
thus ideal for those Sunday or after-cocktail-party suppers when you cannot predict
the number of guests or even whether supper will be cooked at all. The quantities
listed below will serve four people generously, five people moderately, and give six
people something to eat.
8 OUNCES THIN SPAGHETTI
3 TABLESPOONS OLIVE OIL
1 LARGE CLOVE GARLIC
1 TIN TOMATO PASTE
½ CUP WATER
¾ CUP CHOPPED ONION
1 POUND HAMBURGER
1 TIN CONDENSED TOMATO SOUP
1 TIN CONDENSED CELERY SOUP
1 FOUR-OUNCE TIN BUTTON MUSHROOMS
1 TEASPOON ORÉGANO
1 BAY LEAF
1 TEASPOON SALT
½ TEASPOON PEPPER
2 TABLESPOONS WORCESTERSHIRE SAUCE
1 CUP GRATED PARMESAN CHEESE
While the spaghetti is boiling in plenty of salted water, heat the olive oil in a large
heavy saucepan, and mince the garlic into the oil. Sauté the garlic for a few minutes
but do not allow it to brown. Mix the tomato paste with the half cup of water. Add the
chopped onion and the beef to the hot oil, and cook until the meat is browned
through, stirring the while. Pour in the soups, the diluted tomato paste, the
mushrooms, and all the seasonings.
Stir well, cover, and let simmer for half an hour, or as much longer as you like. Drain
the spaghetti when it is done, and keep warm. When you are ready to serve, spread
the spaghetti on a hot platter, remove the bay leaf from the saucepan, and pour the
sauce over the pasta. Serve with grated cheese on the side.
As this is a dish essentially for informal entertaining, I should serve no vegetable with
it unless it be something like chopped broccoli. It calls out loudly, however, for a red
Chianti and a leafy salad without tomatoes, such as Mixed Green I or III (qv). For
dessert, if there is time to prepare it, Zabaglione (qv) is the answer.
This reproduction is made possible by Susan Alexander Truffles. Visit us if you’re
looking for scrumptious truffle recipes.