Neapolitan spaghetti

Who the fuck needs a new food blog.

Why the fuck am I starting this thing.

As I cook for myself and only myself with my 1100 a month income, I see an ever growing gap between the websites I go for recipes and the food that I make for myself.

As a grad student in the Midwest, I don’t have: the money to buy grade-A kitchenware, buy good parts of meat, spend on trendy organic food stores with glimmering veggies of exotic names, the luxury of eating out in places that serve food on non-plastic or non-disposable dishes. In addition, being in a college town in Kansas, I don’t have access to many of the ingredients that seem to be readily available anywhere else. I also don’t believe in shopping for food online, which is a testimony to my archaic sensibilities and adherence to idiotic principles. So when I saw a cocktail recipe on Saveur, I walked around town, looking for orgeat, mind filled with despair and with growing resentment towards the town I am living in with every store that did not carry orgeat.

It does not help that I am the kind of person who want to forget my large consumption of Hamm’s (12 for 7 bucks) by occasionally making a cocktail from flashy food magazines with slightly-above-the-lower-shelf Flor de Cana rum.

My everyday life is characterized by the dilemma of the resentment towards food culture that seems bent on distinction of the upper class (that is characterized by its disdain and contempt for the lower-class food culture that contaminates their diet by non-free range chicken eggs, non-organic produce and mass produced food) and the desire to try the products of that particular pretentious culture.

So, here’s something that regularly mediates these two feelings:

Neapolitan Spaghetti

As you can imagine, the origin of this dish does not even come close to Naples.

Its a Japanese invention, so there’s the exotic factor there for you.

Its basically pasta tossed with onions, bacon (or sausage), and ketchup.

Yes, ketchup.

I remember the expression on my vegetarian roommate when I presented this dish to him. The horror of finding out that I am flavoring starch with condiments.

But I do make a mean Neapolitan spaghetti.

Its all in the details. I saute the bacon and onion in olive oil over medium high heat, add some garlic and keep going until its fragrant, and then throw in some white wine. Once the alcohol’s gone, I put in the ketchup (about 2-3 tablespoons per serving) and keep on going until that shit is reduced, becomes really concentrated in its flavors.

Then I mix in some pasta water (small ladleful per serving), about a minute before the pasta comes out. By the way, I salt the pot heavily when boiling pasta, so I would not have to salt the sauce later.

Here’s the important thing: throw in the pasta into the sauce as quickly as possible. Don’t wait till its drained or anything. I just throw the pasta directly from the pot to the pan with a tong. The sauce clings to pasta the best around 96 celsius, right below boiling, so you really want to be fast here.

Toss, dump it in a dish, and serve. Grate a lot of pecorino for good measure.

There you go. A lower class dish that originated in the exotic land of Japan, and tweaked enough for me to feel good about myself.

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