by Evelyn S. Bunoan
I used spaghetti to make this vegetarian pasta, thus the name â€œspaghastaâ€. I served this new creation as comfort food in the evening of Election Day for the FARV volunteers at Harry and Vellie Dietrich-Hallâ€™s residence. It is easy to double or triple the preparation for this dish, but for now this will suffice for the number of people served.
1 carton spaghetti (1 lb. size)
vegetable or olive oil for sautÃ©ing
8 pieces large button mushrooms, sliced or quartered
1 large red onion, cut in wedges
1 carrot, cut into 3 inches long thin strips
4 oz. sliced water chestnuts in can
1 small sweet red peppers, thinly sliced crosswise
salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1/4 cup mayonnaise
Garnishing: One 6-oz. bottled marinated artichoke hearts, sliced into bite sizes and 1/2 teaspoon dried
Chefâ€™s Tip: This spaghasta can be served hot (at least 165Â° F) or cold (at least 40Â° F). Always garnish
this dish before serving.
1. SautÃ© the onions until transparent (about 1 minute) and transfer to a small plate. In the same pan, sautÃ©
the mushrooms, carrots and water chestnuts and season with salt and pepper. Add the sweet pepper.
Transfer to a plate and set aside.
2. Bring 2 quarts (or 8 cups) of water to a boil and add 1 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon olive or vegetable
oil, and the spaghetti. Stir occasionally and cook for 10 minutes or until al dente (tender but firm). At
this point, the noodles almost saturate the water. When the spaghetti is cooked, remove the excess
water but leave the spaghetti moist with a little liquid.
3. Lower heat and while the spaghetti is still moist, add the sautÃ©ed vegetables, onions and thyme. Correct the seasoning with salt and pepper. Mix gently until the ingredients are well blended. If more mayonnaise is needed to keep the spaghasta moist, add 1 tablespoon at a time.
Garnish before serving.
Now that the weather is getting colder, field mice will be looking for food or for a place to stay warm. A good target will be a garage, or worse, a home. If there is no reason for the mice to stay, they wonâ€™t, but one must do some preventive measures, such as:
1. Do not leave any food lying around. Keep bread, cookies and cereal well sealed and put away.
2. Do not leave pet food, vegetable/grass seeds, and birdseed exposed. Keep these items in tight containers.
3. Chewable food in cardboard boxes must be kept in plastic or glass containers.
4. If ever the unthinkable happens and mice gets into your house, evict them immediately before they multiply. Use effective but inexpensive traps. Poison will be your last resort. If you are willing to spend some money, your best approach is to hire a professional pest exterminator.
Editorâ€™s note: Mrs. Evelyn S. Bunoan is Owner/Master Chef, Philippine Oriental Market & Deli (with more than 30 years of service to the Filipino-American community) – 3610 Lee Highway, Arlington, Virginia; (703)528-0300; Master Chef (French cuisine), Le Cordon Bleu, London, UK; recipe creator, improviser, food stylist, cake designer, and culinary writer; kitchen-tested and mastered more than 400 recipes, and counting. Member of International Cake Exploration Societe. Host of the cooking show â€“ â€œEvelynâ€™s Kitchen â€“ Cooking with Friendsâ€.