Macaroni Alla Telefono
4 cloves garlic
a handful of fresh basil
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cups noodles (your choice, but something squiggly works best)
fennel seeds (optional)
caraway seeds (optional)
I’d left the camera on; Clayton walked by at a random moment, and saw this image in the viewfinder. I agreed it was… compelling. So I snapped. And so I share. My stemless wine glass dripping with cava, our scratched kitchen table surface, and one of Clayton’s paintings coloring the background.
To my pan I add two tablespoons of tomato paste. I blend it well with my sauteed veggies.
I roll my sausages…
Every minute or so, just as the surfaces start to brown…
Dump them disks into my thick rich tomato sauce.
I’ve boiled off my pasta to just slightly underdone (I always think of Joyce’s ”Underdone’s”), since they’re going to bake for a while, which will bring them to just the right al dente.
I mix this all up real good like. *Real* good like.
This plump ball of mozzarella (a wee wee bit rubbery at just the apex of the curve) stuffed with ricotta ended up being the *perfect* diary for dinner. It comes from “The Mozzarella House” in Everett, MA — but they’ve got no website! Technological deficiencies aside, their cheese is damn good (even if a little pricey, at $7.99 in comparison to Trader Joe’s more consistently produced, just as tasty, $2.99 8oz portion). Anyway, the mozz will melt and stretch, and the ricotta will melt and cream. I slice it, then roughly chop it, then scoop it up with the flat of my blade and…
Dump it into my hot saucesausagepasta. I mix this up real good like…
Meanwhile, I slice my beautiful baguette down the middle and cut it into planks. I douse each slice’s surface with melted butter, sprinkle them with garlic powder, and grate some fresh parmigiano reggiano on top, then stick this on a sheet pan over parchment paper into the oven (which is already baking off my pasta) to toast.
As I spoon the warm deliciousness into my bowl, I can show you why this is called “alla telefono” — see how the mozzarella stretches into supple cords, like telephone wires, as I serve up my dish? It’s almost a struggle; I have to use another spoon to cut the wires, or they’d stretch, it seems, until eternity.
Spoonfuls of macaroni and mozzarella and tomato goodness are perfectly gloopy, with firm springy noodles laced with rich sauce, dotted with savory sausage, and threaded with creamy chewy cheese. Served with buttery baked cheesy garlic bread, served with love, served with hard working man man in mind. Clayton husband needed something from the heart to fill his stomach, and judging by the love-looks he’s been shooting my way since we walked away from the dinner table, he’s happy as can be. Mission accomplished!