I have a vague recollection of having pasta with a sweeter sauce with bits of ham, onion, and peppers. Couldn’t recall where I had eaten it – but my childhood memories have small pockets of my eating it…
Evidently, the dish was inspired by a Japanese chef interpreting Western cuisine. Similar to hayashi-rice , Kalei (curry) rice and other “Japanized” dishes, Spaghetti Naporitan falls into the same category.
Simply put, it’s spaghetti pasta tossed with a ketchup flavored sauce.
I can imagine my husband wrinkling his nose as he reads this. I can imagine my girlfriend chuckle and think, “Hm. She’s not such a food purist after all. KETCHUP AND PASTA??!!”
Yet, I find the situation similar to my finding the concept of eating rice, broiled fish and miso for breakfast acceptable – as well as cereal and fruit – as a matter of exposure and broadening horizons.
I had a nice bunch of red peppers, carrots, celery and onion slices that I had julienned, and decided I’d saute them with a little canola oil, salt and pepper. I then thought, perhaps yakisoba (pan-friend noodles) would be a good lunch menu item – but I was too tired to go rummaging for noodles. I opened the pantry, and found a box of whole wheat spaghetti, and decided today was the day to revisit an old dish my mother used to make almost 30+ years ago.
I brought a small pot of water to boil for the pasta, added a tablespoon of salt, and added the pasta.
I then started sauteeing the vegetables, and once they had softened, added a tablespoon of ketchup, mixing everything together well. I added a little salt and pepper, and lowered the heat.
Once the pasta was done, I drained it, and added to the sautéed vegetables, and folded everything together.
It was a familiar smell of sweet, tangy, and savory, mixing with the fragrant vegetables.
I set aside the pasta into a small bowl to cool, and took a walk down memory lane with the small amount, left over.
It brought me back to the apartment in Queens on the second floor – in the dining room, the family sitting at the table, as we had Spaghetti Naporitan with chicken consomme soup with thinly sliced potatoes garnished with chopped scallions. Pretty porcelain dishes with navy floral patters dotted with a little yellow or red. I would chase down each scallion with a spoon, while my brother cooed in the wooden high chair.
Tuesday lunch was roasted beets, quail eggs, sliced celery, yellow peppers and Spaghetti Naporitan.