|Julia Moskin of the Times|
When I was growing up, my WASP mother often made a dish called “Spaghetti Meat Sauce”. I loved it. The recipe came from a neighbor in our WASPiest of WASP enclaves. It later turned out that its author was a closet Italian-Canadian, because Italians just didn’t exist at that time in WASPdom. The other day, Julia Moskin, who writes a column in the New York Times called “Recipe Lab”, recalled her introduction to “Meat Sauce” in her similarly non-Italian household. Her “Meat Sauce” however, unlike my Mother’s, was hit or miss. In fact, Ms. Moskin refers to her recipe as ‘unpredictable’, regularly “thin, sour, sweet, chewy or all of the above.” So Ms. Moskin enlisted the guidance of Sarah Jenkins.
|Sara Jenkins as seen through the window
Like many Italian-trained chefs, Italian-American cooking is something of a mystery to Ms. Jenkins. Items that never appear in Italy are staples here including Pepperoni Pizza and Garlic Bread. And as to that classic “Sunday Sauce”, well, Ms. Jenkins allows that she has never seen plain pasta topped with meat sauce anywhere in that country. Instead, Ms Jenkins offers up a recipe that Ms. Moskin describes as “absurdly simple”. But before offering it up, she shares Ms. Jenkins goal: “A succulent bowl of pasta, steaming hot and savory with meat juices, concentrated tomatoes and aromatics.” The weather this weekend is the coldest in months and so it seemed the perfect night for Pasta. It was even a Sunday so I would have time to stew over my sauce. The recipe, however, called for only 2 hours.