Monday, September 13, 2010

Monopoly and Spaghetti

How many hours of Monopoly did you play as a kid?
I played it so much I knew all the rents by heart.
My goal: buy everything, mortgage as necessary, win.
I can be very competitive. {But I was the shoe in the game pictured!}
There's something so fun about playing games, and I'm all about fun right now.

This week I came across a poem found by @GKPhotography that I find very inspiring
and have to share it with everyone.

dream big
want more from life
do something fun
apply your creativity
take risks
live your life
play Monopoly
follow your dreams

How many people, when thinking of spaghetti, think of that charming scene in the movie “Lady and the Tramp” where Lady and Tramp are both slurping up the same long spaghetti noodle, ending when their lips meet in a slurpy kiss?

Who says spaghetti can’t be fun?

For most families, spaghetti is a kid pleaser and nothing could be simpler to make for dinner. Once you have spaghetti sauce in the freezer, it’s simply a matter of boiling the spaghetti and heating the sauce. And voilĂ ! Dinner is served!

The pasta we call spaghetti originally came from China where it was made from either rice flour or hard wheat flour with water and salt added.

Tomatoes, on the other hand, are known to have their origins in the Americas so the first tomato sauce would have been made by the Aztecs. However, when we talk about spaghetti sauce today we are thinking about it as an Italian recipe. In fact, the earliest recipe for spaghetti sauce has been found in a cookbook printed in 1692 by Antonio Latini. Hmmm – that’s 318 years ago! Any food that survives that long has got to have something going for it!

My go-to Spaghetti Sauce recipe has evolved through the years and I release it to you as a favourite from my family to yours.


1 can of tomato paste
2 fresh tomatoes
1 large can of diced tomatoes
1 jar of pasta sauce (my favorite is Original Ragu)
2 tablespoons oregano
¼ cup chopped, fresh basil
½ cup onions
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt to taste
Fresh black pepper to taste
5 small cans kidney beans (optional)
½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Brown onions and garlic. Add all other ingredients except the kidney beans and Parmesan cheese. Bring to a boil. Transfer to a crock pot or slow cooker. Simmer for two hours. Add the kidney beans (if desired) and simmer for one more hour.

Do not skimp on the simmering time.

The Secret’s in the Simmering
After the cooking is complete, cook spaghetti as per the directions on the package and top with this succulent sauce. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese. It’s also fun to serve cottage cheese with this meal, which gives the spaghetti a lazy Lasagna feel.

This sauce freezes well and is handy to pull out for a quick and easy dinner. It’s also a favourite for camping. In small containers, the frozen sauce acts as ice blocks in the cooler – ready to be pulled out and added to a pot of spaghetti cooked over a campfire.

And speaking of campfires, how about a song to go with the dinner? This song, sung to the tune of “On Top of Old Smokey” was popularized in 1963 by Tom Glazer and the Do Re Me Children’s Choir.

On Top of Spaghetti

On top of spaghetti,
All covered with cheese,
I lost my poor meatball,
When somebody sneezed.

It rolled off the table,
And on to the floor,
And then my poor meatball,
Rolled out of the door.

It rolled in the garden,
And under a bush,
And then my poor meatball,
Was nothing but mush.

The mush was as tasty
As tasty could be,
And then the next summer,
It grew into a tree.

The tree was all covered,
All covered with moss,
And on it grew meatballs,
And tomato sauce.

So if you eat spaghetti,
All covered with cheese,
Hold on to your meatball,
Whenever you sneeze.
If you like this post, share it!

If you like this blog, you can subscribe and get updates automatically.

  • Click here to learn about subscribing.

  • Click here to subscribe.

  • To see an index of recipes, click here.
    To see a visual index of recipes, click here.
    To see an index of Julia Child-inspired recipes, click here.


    Mindy said...

    Hi Shari,

    You have such stunning photos on your blog in the posts and portfolio. And what a great idea to blog through A Cordon Bleu at Home.

    Lynda said...

    I love the "This is your life" quote. You are inspiring. I am going to print it and put it by my computer. Your spaghetti sauce looks yummy.

    Sara said...

    Oh ya. I definitely think of Lady and the Tramp. I also think of those silly family scenes on the Olive Garden commercials. I guess their marketing works!

    Shelley said...

    Hello, Shari! Love the scene from Lady and the Tramp - so cute!

    My spaghetti sauce is a homemade one that uses some canned ingredients and some fresh. It was passed down to me by my mother, who got it from the Better Homes & Gardens cookbook (a red plaid) that she received as a wedding gift. It's loaded with mushrooms and grated carrots, celery and onions and it is so hearty and delicious. We're having some this coming Saturday!

    Anonymous said...

    YUM! I need a good vegetarian tomato sauce. Wonderful!

    Jennifer said...

    I loved this post! The This Is Your Life quote was fabulous and so true!

    Your spaghetti sauce sounds great, I just put up a dozen homemade jars myself.

    Eliana said...

    Would you believe I never played monopoly as a child? Luckily I have played it a million times now. I was seriously missing out!

    lisa is cooking said...

    We have the Simpson's version of Monopoly, but some reason we only pull it out around the holidays. It's time more game nights, I think! And, games and spaghetti sounds like a great combo.

    Larissa Beznaczuk-Smyrnew said...

    This was a wonderful post Shari!

    Peggy said...

    Love your quote. I hated monopoly as a child and still. However, we got a Monopoly card game last Christmas and we LOVE it. It is like playing real monopoly, but it takes only like 30 minutes to play a game. You should check it out sometime. The spaghetti looks really good.

    Kayte said...

    Great post! We had hours and days of Monopoly growing up. We invented some house whoever landed on Jail first had to sit out the three turns (could not use GOOJF card) and go make Popcorn for Everyone. Silly stuff like that. It was a lot of fun. Loved the quote and your writing. Hugs for making us all more aware.

    Unknown said...

    That scene is an absolute classic! Hope to recreate it someday :) I love monopoly, just played it last month :)