By: Kim Hasty
Welcome to the first edition of our newsletter, The CityView Foodie, in which we celebrate home cooks, gourmet chefs and those who love to pull up a chair and enjoy good food and fellowship. Each week, we invite you to share in our kitchen conversations and to share your own kitchen creations. Cheers!
We kick off the week with a little celebration of today as National Spaghetti Day. Fayetteville may not be Sicily, but we have our own credibility as a spaghetti hotspot. After all, we’re home to the World’s Largest Spaghetti Dinner, held every year at Sts. Constantine & Helen Church. You’ll find weekly spaghetti specials at many of our local restaurants.
Thanks to longtime Fayetteville resident Marion Bryan for sharing a recipe for the delicious sauce she grew up loving in her native Philadelphia, which had a large Italian immigrant population.
“My dearest friend's mother was an Italian immigrant who came to the U.S. after the war,” Bryan said. “Her home was always filled with people who only spoke Italian; they were so interesting to me. Her father was a Russian immigrant, same story of immigrating after the war, and there were always old men, called Grandfather or Uncle (but none who were related), living with them.
“How I loved that diversity growing up!”
Interestingly enough, Bryan’s sauce recipe didn’t come from her Italian neighbors, but rather from her friend Susan, who is Jewish. Nevertheless, being in the kitchen and stirring pots of warm and delicious things always takes Bryan back to the days of her childhood.
“There was always food on the table, always different languages being spoken,” she said. “Sweet memories.”
She recently was making a special batch of the sauce. She planned to freeze it and take it to daughter and son-in-law, Kate and Matt Knise, who became first-time parents to the Bryans’ newest grandchild, baby William Hugh Knise, on Nov. 23.
Marion Bryan’s Spaghetti Sauce
1 pound sweet or hot Italian sausage (I use a mix of both)
½ pound ground beef
½ cup finely chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon salt
1½ teaspoons dried basil leaves
½ teaspoon fennel seed
¼ teaspoon pepper
1/8 cup chopped parsley
4 cups canned tomatoes, undrained; or 1 can (2 pounds, 3 ounces Italian-style tomatoes (I use Italian tomatoes)
12 ounces tomato paste
½ cup water
Remove sausage meat from outer casings, chop the meat.
In a large pot, over medium heat, sauté the sausage, beef, onion and garlic, stirring frequently until well browned.
Add sugar, 1 salt, the basil, fennel, pepper and parsley; mix well.
Add tomatoes, tomato paste, and water, mashing tomatoes with a wooden spoon.
Bring to boiling; reduce heat; simmer, covered and stirring occasionally, until thick, 1½ to 2 hours.