What brought me to this today was reminiscing about my time living abroad in Florence and thinking about their traditions (which I know and understand are changing just as they are here), the healthy way Italians look at food and its history. They revere their food and traditions as something to be savored. But times are changing there as well, with more families having two incomes there is less time to cook, less time to eat together. In 1986, Carlo Petrini, along with other patriots, wanted to stop the building of McDonalds near the base of the Spanish Steps in Rome. By 1989, a treaty was signed by delegates from 15 other countries, a manifesto created and the Slow Food Movement was born:
"We are enslaved by speed and have all succumbed to the same insidious virus: Fast Life, which disrupts our habits, pervades the privacy of our homes and forces us to eat Fast Foods...Our defense should begin at the table with Slow Food. Let us rediscover the flavors and savors of regional cooking and banish the degrading effects of Fast Food... In the name of productivity, Fast Life has changed our way of being and threatens our environment and our landscapes. So Slow Food is now the only truly progressive answer. That is what real culture is all about: developing taste rather than demeaning it." (Slow Food Movement Manifesto)I think there needs to be a change in all of our lives to take time, slow down and to savor the moments with your family around the dinner table. Perhaps you don't excel at cooking, or do not find chopping a soothing activity at the end of a long day, but somehow there is a desperate need to return to proper ingredients, ethical food and a morality in eating. Take a pledge to slow down and to eat as a family, to prepare something that not only nourishes your families' body but also their entire well-being. Here is a simply delicious pasta that cooks in 15 minutes. I made this last night and it truly was spectacular. Enjoy!
Quick Spaghetti with Sausage
· 3-4 Italian Sausage links, casings on (I used spicy. Please use one from the butcher or the butcher counter)
· One pound of Spaghetti
· 4-5 Garlic cloves minced
· Large handful of basil, hand shred the leaves, reserve the stems and finely chop
· 1, 28oz can of whole or pureed tomatoes, no salt
· Freshly grated Parmesan or Pecorino Cheese
1. Bring large pot of water to boil, when boiling add a large handful of salt. Add spaghetti and stir.
2. Meanwhile heat a large non-stick skillet over medium/high heat with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Take one sausage link at a time and squeeze some of the meat out directly into the heated skillet (should look like small meatball). Continue method for all sausages. Stir and rotate to brown on all sides. This should take the same amount of time as the pasta, about 9 minutes. If not enough fat has rendered add 1-2 Tablespoons of butter to the pan.
3. Heat another skillet over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and add minced garlic and basil stems. Saute for 2 minutes. Careful not to let the garlic burn. When nicely toasted add the tomatoes and stir. Add a nice pinch of salt and pepper and a pinch of sugar. Let combine.
4. After about 9 minutes remove the spaghetti with a spider or tongs (the pasta should really be ALMOST done, a bite still in the noodle) place directly into the pan with the sausage. Stir and combine. If the pasta is too dry add a small ladle of the pasta water to the sausage pan.
5. Add reserved hand shredded basil to the tomato sauce. Stir.
6. When nicely combined, about 1 minute, ladle in some of the tomato sauce. Stir. Add another ladle and stir. It should not be an overly tomato pasta dish. If you need more sauce just add a little more.
7. Grate cheese on top and toss to combine
8. Serve in desired dish and add one more grate of cheese