The Tuesday Night Pasta Tradition Lives On
Is there a meal that you have eaten every week, on the same day, forever, without fail?
As Sophia Loren famously said, “spaghetti can be eaten most successfully if you inhale it like a vacuum cleaner”, and that I did, every Tuesday night for the majority of my childhood.
For as long as I can remember, Tuesday night has always been pasta night. This is the night dad plays squash (no – not the food, the sport!) and he doesn’t get home until later than usual. To tease me, mum makes the pasta sauce hours in advance and leaves it on the stove. Ten minutes before he is due home, she puts the water on to boil. Over the years, there has been increasing pressure for mum to “boil the water earlier!” on the off chance that he may just get home a couple of minutes before expected. It’s amazing how the smell of pasta sauce has the ability to drive people crazy if they aren’t able to eat it! My dad isn’t really one for variety, so most weeks we have spaghetti bolognese, but on the odd occasion when mum doesn’t feel like cooking we have store bought lasagne, because how could you break the Tuesday tradition?! The tradition was broken by me when I went through the phase every adolescent girl goes through, which of course involves avoiding carbohydrates. Let me tell you – that didn’t last long and I am back to inhaling spaghetti!
As a creature of habit (I couldn’t possibly tell you who I take after), Tuesday pasta night has snuck in to our house since we moved out. I have, however, embraced variety. I’d be silly not to when my partner is a qualified chef! I’ve been spoilt with boscaiola, beef ragu, prawn, chorizo – you name it!
My love of pasta goes back a long, long time. As a kid, it was the only time I would even consider eating tomatoes and Mum also made attempts to hide other vegetables such as carrots and zucchini in her sauce. Whenever I would visit my Nonno and Nonna, I would put my request in for dinner. It was ALWAYS the same – gnocchi, with a melt in your mouth ragu sauce. Both Nonno and Nonna could make amazing gnocchi, which no one else in my family has been able to master. Funnily enough, in the nearly 5 years that Michael and I have been together, he hasn’t made me gnocchi once – I need to get on to him about that! He has, however, made plenty of other amazing pasta dishes so I shouldn’t be complaining!
He assures me this crab linguini was simple to make, and I can guarantee it was delicious! So if you’re stuck for ideas your next pasta night, give it a go!
- ½ cup picked mud crab meat – fresh or good quality jarred crab meat from a fish monger
- ½ packet angel hair pasta
- 1 x heaped tbs garlic
- Shallots – 2 stems chopped
- 1 punnet cherry tomatoes – halved
- 1 x red chilli
- 2 x heaped tbs butter
- ¾ cup white wine
- 1 bunch parsley – chopped
Method – The sauce can be made in 5mins. We recommend starting the sauce as soon as you commence cooking the pasta.
- Add 1 x heaped tbs butter and extra virgin olive oil to a pan
- Add garlic and chilli to the pan and colour slightly, followed by the shallots
- Deglaze with cherry tomatoes and white wine
- Reduce slightly
- Reduce heat from high to medium-low and poach/warm crab meat
- To finish the dish, add butter to thicken
- Season generously and add parsley
- Toss cooked pasta with sauce and serve
Recipe and photos by Michael Salmon
Written by Michaela Ward