Manga Spaghetti

In food on 02/16/2009 at 11:12 am

When I was a kid, I read a manga series about a guy who worked as a bus boy and spent his nights behind the restaurant, testing and tasting a super secret sauce that would someday make him rich. He’d slave away in the wee hours, rain or snow, shivering under his blanket next to his makeshift burner and pot of sauce, plotting world domination.

I’d think of that manga whenever Mother made her Asian-fied Ragú spaghetti with meat sauce. Brother and I would slurp down bowls and bowls of it, while she just stood by and watched us eat. She actually didn’t like the taste of it, or didn’t want to get her face spattered by tomato flecks. But boy, we loved it. It made its weekly showing on the menu. Maybe she had something against sauce like the other half does. Not me, the more sauce the better.

So the kid in the manga eventually develops the magic recipe and people can’t get enough of his secret sauce. They line up in droves for it. He opens up a diner in a shopping mall food court where the kitchen is in the middle, surrounded by a circular counter. It’s packed all the time. He slathers his sauce on rice and spaghetti. I don’t remember what happens in the end, but I’d like to think he lived happily ever after, feeding the masses. Either that or he died of exhaustion, the cost of celebrity.

5 garlic cloves, chopped
2 onion, chopped
1 lb. ground fatty pork
your favorite spaghetti sauce
salt and pepper
1 lb. spaghetti

Saute garlic and onion until caramelized. Add ground fatty pork until browned. Add spaghetti sauce and simmer 10 min. Season with salt and pepper.

Boil spaghetti in another pot. 6 min for al dente, or check for done-ness by cutting a piece and seeing the middle has a tiny dot of white left.

Drain spaghetti and add to sauce. Toss to coat and meld flavors. (Most Italians just top the pasta with the sauce, which I find makes it not taste right. You gotta mix on the stove before serving.) Grate some Parmesan or Pecorino on top for that umami bite.

Slurp away!

chef boyardee

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