I can safely say that when my siblings, myself included, moved out of the house the one thing we all missed was eating my mom’s spaghetti. It was a sauceless pasta, though chock full of flavor from bacon, lap cheong (Chinese smoked sausage), onion, stewed tomatoes and Monterey Jack cheese, served with a few slices of Grace Pastries’ famous garlic bread. Whenever she knew her kids were coming over to visit, she’d whip out her large orange stew pot, cook it all afternoon and have a plate of “spaghet” (she liked to shorten words such as, “Hiya Nellie, how’s the weather in Frisco?”) ready for us that evening. If there was any leftover, we’d look forward to a spaghetti breakfast because this dish only got better the next day.
Unfortunately, her recipe was never officially written down. I have notes she once scribbled on an aging piece of paper but I know it is incomplete and not quite exact so I attempted to conjure up some old taste bud memories and recreate a favorite childhood dish.
Box of spaghetti
Monterey Jack cheese
Homemade bacon (thanks, Howard!)
Lap cheong (Chinese sausage)
Not pictured: Togarashi, dried Italian herbs, salt, pepper
I have never cooked with lap cheong before (and due to it’s extremely high fat content, may never again) but it was easy to incorporate and a beautiful, albeit unctuous, piece of meat.
While all the ingredients were stewing, I churned some cream and made butter for the garlic bread.
If you’ve never done this, it is SUPER easy and worth the price of a small carton of top quality heavy cream.
Mom would have been 92 years old last Thursday. During the latter part of her life, while she couldn’t remember how to make her infamous “spaghet”, she did know she used to fill the kitchen with joy every time she made it.
The final product was pretty damn close to what I remember it to be, but it was still missing something. A dash of garlic salt? Maybe. A few shakes of Worcester sauce? Possibly. A cup of motherly love? Most definitely.