Uh-Oh! Spaghetti Genoese!

Pasta being one of the Mr’s favorite food groups means it must be on the menu just about every other week. It doesn’t matter what kind, really. It just matters that it’s on the menu. This generally includes spaghetti, lasagna, ravioli, et all. I too love pasta, but it doesn’t love my waistline, so every other week is plenty (and even then, my body seems to prefer gluten free) — amiright?

When my dad died, my mom said I could have anything I wanted. One of a few things I chose was a vintage Italian cookbook from 1977. I’m not 100% sure the recipes from the Culinary Arts Institute Italian Cookbook are 100% authentic, but I love how they’re delineated not just by course, but by region as well. It’s all at once nostalgic and exciting. If you’ve followed me for any amount of time by now, you know I am an old soul deep down and get positively giddy about vintage cookbooks — campy or authentic!

Since we enjoyed French cuisine last week, this week we chose fare from the Liguria region of Italy. Specifically Spaghetti Genoese (Spaghetti alla Genovese). One of the many beauties of of this skinny cookbook is that the ingredients are kept clean, simple, and straightforward. As a matter of fact, many of the recipes fit on 1/3 of one page. This particular recipe was a mere fifth, yet packed a full meal (especially after I paired it with a wilted lacinato kale and mushroom salad).

Named for the city of origin – Genoa, Liguria, Italy – Spaghetti Genoese is known for being a staple of the Campania region in Italy, likely brought to the area by Genovese immigrants in the 15th-16th centuries. The problem with this is… true Genovese doesn’t resemble this one in the slightest! About the only thing they have in common is olive oil, garlic, and herbs/spices — oh! and spaghetti. That’s about it. If you’re looking for a more authentic Genoese pasta recipe, The New York Times cooking section has one here.

While this recipe wasn’t quite authentic — closer to alfredo if you ask me — it was really good. And there were honestly no complaints here! A few personal notes: I was out of half & half, so I swapped in half heavy cream and half whole milk for the half & half. The recipe calls for parsley to be used in the sauce. While it maintains it’s vibrancy in cooking, I maybe would next time use ribbons of fresh basil instead. Or you could do as the Mr and just stir your kale & mushroom salad right into the pasta & sauce…

For the wilted kale & mushroom salad, I simply sautéed half a bunch of chiffonaded lacinato kale with half a container of sliced mushrooms in grapeseed oil & salt and pepper until the mushrooms were soft and the kale was tender, but still a little chewy. That’s it. Not much fuss for a great side that goes the distance! What are some of your favorite “inauthentic” pasta recipes?

Currently Reading: Homebody: A Guide To Creating Spaces You Never Want to Leave by Joanna Gaines


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