m.f.k.f. monday, napolitana sauce

this sauce my younger sister and made at the same time we made ms. m.f.k. fisher's spoon bread.

good basic sauce. pretty mild.

i'm sure i've made numerous variations of it over the years without knowing it.


all diced up.



of all of this, ms. fisher says:

if you like sauce with your spaghetti or any of the fifty children such as vermicelli, orzi, pennini, you can concoct just about such a brew as your fancy calls for — remembering always that mushrooms and tomato sauce and what herbs you can find should be a kindly part of it.

it is good to remember never to use flour in such a sauce, nor a canned tomato soup, but always let the canned or fresh tomato thicken by itself. another important thing is to have the sauce ready before you cook the paste [yes, this is how it's spelled in the book; i believe it's an earlier spelling of pasta, perhaps? —sm] and in the same way to have your guests ready to eat it before you serve the dish, since once cooked and mingled it cannot wait. the sauce, of course, can be prepared many hours before you want it, but if by any chance you must serve the paste long after it is cooked, drain it and wash it thoroughly before it is quite done, and then heat it quickly in boiling water before serving it.

always have a well-heated and generous platter ready for the paste and the sauce, which should either be mixed lightly together just before serving or shaped into a filled mound which can be tossed and spooned together as it is given to each person. grated cheese should be served separately.

one of the best sauces for spaghetti is, or was, a favorite one in naples, and it is so simple and satisfying that even confirmed meat-eaters forget their conditional hungers when they have is. (it is agreeably economical, too.)


napolitana sauce for spaghetti

5 tablespoons olive oil (or decent substitute, if any)

2 cloves garlic

1 sweet onion

½ green pepper

2 cups tomato sauce (2 small cans)

salt, pepper

3 tablespoons herbs


mince the garlic, onion, carrot, and pepper into the oil. cook, stirring gently, for ten minutes. add the tomato sauce and the seasoning and herbs, such as chopped marjoram and thyme and parsley. cook slowly for about twenty minutes, stirring often. serve with hot paste and grated cheese. [or no cheese at all! —sm.]