I was out one evening at a NTUC Finest and stood before rows of pasta sauces. It was getting real close to closing time and I had to make my decision quick. Totally overwhelmed by the choices I had, I narrowed it down to two options: Spaghetti Napoletana or Spaghetti Bolognese.
Still I couldn’t quite figure it out. So I went to my trusty best friend, Google (and Wikipedia). The only thing I’ve figured out is Napoletana sauce is vegetarian and originates from Naples and Bolognese sauce is meat-based (pork and beef) and originates from Bologna.
Going for Spaghetti Napoletana
Because it’s no beef for my husband
Since The F Man is a “say-no-to-beef” kinda guy, I thought I’d better stick to the safer non-meat sauce. Case closed.
I am a big pasta-loving girl. I absolutely loved it when my mom would cook spaghetti for my family. Those were the days. It was always such a treat and my sister and I would carefully ration the sauce so we would have enough for second servings. Fond memories. Now that I have my own place, I thought I’d stock up on some basic ingredients so that I could prepare a simple emergency meal for both the F Man and myself (that’s not instant noodles) if I got hungry on the weekends! True enough, I got hungry last Sunday and was too lazy to leave the house. I ended up whipping up this Spaghetti Napoletana.
My quick and easy Spaghetti Napoletana
Thank God for Home Economics class back in secondary school. That may have been 14 years ago, but at least I got a crash course. Most importantly, I learnt the basics of home cooking (even if with convenience food).
Related: Read about my previous attempt in the kitchen where I saved my Braised Pork Belly.
No measurements, because, really just cook what you need
Only used four ingredients for this easy peasy meal
This doesn’t even require a recipe because this is basic AF, but I’m just listing ingredients and all down, because I don’t know, maybe you guys might want to know the brand? I don’t know, man! Anyway, this serves two.
- 1/2 jar of Barilla Napoletana Pasta Sauce
- Barilla Spaghetti (as much as you want and depends on how hungry and carb-friendly you are)
- 4 Tatsumoto Pork Sausage Original (Sliced)
- Cowhead Shredded Mozzarella Easy-Melting Cheese (as much as you want)
This is the best pork sausage I’ve ever had. #JustSaying
The Tatsumoto brand Pork Sausages do come at a premium at $4.50 for a pack of five compared to the ordinary chicken franks that cost, like what, $1.50 for a pack of 10? But these are so worth it and so darn good. Even better if you can get the Cheese ones which I personally find the best. The only thing is that the Cheese ones are always out of stock. ALWAYS. So if you see it, you should grab as many packs as you can (possibly eat). I swear. Otherwise, the original ones are pretty good too.
Actually you can get whatever cheese you like.
I picked this one out because I couldn’t find other (cheaper) alternatives. I’m really not picky when it comes to cheese. It just has to be shredded and I personally like Mozzarella. Theres a cheaper 150g Tradition Shredded Mozzarella that I usually get for $3.95, but I didn’t get this visit to the supermarket because it was out of stock.
The Cowhead Shredded Mozzarella Easy-Melting Cheese was about $6.95 for 250g which is quite a bit of cheese, honestly. I think there was an offer when I got it too that brought the price down to $5.90 and that’s why I swiped it.
One of the easiest things to whip up, ever.
1. Boil the Spaghetti
Add some salt to water and boil the spaghetti. I check on the softness and just turn off the heat when I’m satisfied. I strain the spaghetti and then put a bit of olive oil. I didn’t have olive oil… so I just… skipped that.
2. Prepare the Sausages
I keep my sausages in the freezer, so I have to leave them for a bit to defrost. Then I grab four sausages and place them in a pot to boil. It’s pretty obvious when the sausages are done, like they’re usually a bit less firm and get “bendy” once they’re good to go. Anyway, I’ll be frying them with the sauce again, so I’m not particular. I slice them up after boiling.
3. Prepping the Sauce
As stated by instructions on the packaging, I heated up the pasta sauce in my microwave for about 1 minute before transferring over to the pan with some cooking oil.
4. Putting everything together
The sauce will start to bubble a little, so I add water now and then to make sure it doesn’t get too thick. Then I add in my spaghetti and throw in the slices of pork sausages. ThenI sprinkle in the shredded mozzarella and mix them all together.
5. Finishing touches
After a couple of minutes I’m done, and as a finishing touch, I transfer the spaghetti napoletana to my plates and sprinkle some more shredded mozzarella right over the dish. I pop it into the microwave to melt the cheese (I just do 30 seconds at a time until it melts).
Not too difficult and fairly quick to cook
It looks pretty appetising (because it’s pasta sauce, spaghetti, cheese and pork sausages). Best of all it’s really hard to go wrong with this. I’m trying not to go straight to MSG-laden instant noodles all the time, so I guess this is a good alternative and makes for a great emergency meal!