|Ingredient||For Two||For Two|
|onion||½ medium||½ medium|
|green pepper||1 small||1 small|
|red pepper||1 small||1 small|
|mushrooms||6-8 (any type)||6-8 (any type)|
|garlic||1 clove||1 clove|
|ketchup||5-6 Tbsp.||5-6 Tbsp.|
|Worcester sauce||1 Tbsp.||1 Tbsp.|
|olive oil||2 Tbsp.||2 Tbsp.|
|butter||1/2 - 1 Tbsp.||1/2 - 1 Tbsp.|
|pepper||to taste||to taste|
|heavy cream (or milk)||2-3 Tbsp.||2-3 Tbsp.|
|Parmesan cheese||to taste||to taste|
It may be called “Napolitan” in Japan, but this spaghetti has nothing to do with Naples — it’s a Japanese original. The ketchup-based sauce might look a little odd, but with the cream and Worcester it has an unusual, slightly sweet, and very mild flavor — may be worth trying if you’re out of jarred spaghetti sauce. To my Italian-American taste buds lots of parmesan cheese is a must at the table.
- Slice up the onion, red and green peppers, and mushrooms. Try for roughly pinky-sized strips of everything but the mushrooms.
- If the sausages you’re using aren’t pre-cooked, cook them. If you’re using one or two large sausages, slice them at a 45 degree angle so you get oval-shaped pieces about 1/4 inch (7-8 mm) thick; for smaller or thinner ones, slice at an angle into bite-sized pieces.
- Mince the garlic.
- Start cooking the pasta.
Follow the directions of whatever brand you’re using. Start preparing the rest of the ingredients while it cooks.
- Sauté vegetables and sausage.
Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the garlic and start stirring. When the garlic starts to smell garlicky, add the onion and cook while stirring until the onion turns transparent. Once the onion is transparent, add the peppers and sausage then continue to stir. Once those are lightly cooked, add the mushrooms.
- Add the sauce and seasonings.
Add ground pepper to taste, then 5 Tbsp. of ketchup, one tablespoon of Worcester sauce, and two tablespoons of water from the spaghetti pot.
- Drain pasta.
When the spaghetti is cooked (aim for al dente), drain it, and mix in the butter.
- Combine and season.
Add the pasta to the frying pan (with the heat on) and mix thoroughly with the sauce. If the flavor isn’t strong enough for your taste at this point, add another tablespoon of ketchup. Either way, add the milk or heavy cream (cream will of course make it richer, but milk is fine if you prefer or don’t have cream) and stir over heat briefly.
Transfer it straight to a couple of plates, and serve with parmesan cheese at the ready — add anywhere from a dusting to a small pile depending on your taste.
That’s “pan” as in the Japanese word for bread (comes from Portuguese), not the kind you cook in. The Japanese have a tendency to stuff just about any entree you can think of into a hot dog bun and call it “somethingorother pan,” and this recipe is one you can find almost anywhere in Japan. Just take the finished spaghetti, stuff it into a hot dog bun or similar piece of bread, dump some parmesan cheese on top (and maybe a little extra ketchup if you’re so inclined), and eat it like a little hoagie.
- The recipe is written with Japanese Worcester sauce (or “usutaa sauce” if you want to pronounce it like that) in mind, but if you can’t find any or already have a bottle of Lee & Perrins or some such, anything should work well enough.
- Since this recipe isn’t intended to cook the sausage thoroughly, you do need to be sure it’s cooked before it goes in the pan. You can use anything from mysterymeat wieners up to something more gourmet (I personally recommend either a quality hot dog or a lightly-seasoned Italian sausage), or even strips of ham if that’s what’s handy. If you use something with a lot of kick it’ll probably overwhelm everything else, though, so it’s probably best to avoid the Linguica or fire-dogs.
- This isn’t a strongly flavored dish, so if you feel it needs a little “extra,” I recommend going heavy on the parmesan — that adds both some salt and extra flavor. Alternately, you can toss a little Tabasco in for an extra kick.