This dish so easy to make that you can be sitting down and eating it within 40 minutes of walking in through the door. It’s great as a supper dish; makes a tasty main course; is a good pot-luck dish plus it is a nutritious filling meal for children. Open a bottle of red wine and let it breathe whilst you are preparing and cooking the meal.
275gm (10oz) spaghetti
25gm (1oz) butter or 1 tablespoon olive oil or a good vegetable oil
1 medium onion
25gm (1oz) plain flour
10 fluid ounces (½ pint) (300ml) water
3 tablespoons tomato purée
¼ teaspoon dried herbs or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs, preferably basil and oregano
175gm (6oz) ham
125gm (4oz) washed or peeled mushrooms
1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs, preferably basil and oregano
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
2 large saucepans
Salt and pepper
Large serving bowl or dish, preferably white or cream to contrast with the tomato sauce
1 Cook spaghetti until soft, approximately 10 minutes or as packet instructions. Drain once cooked, return to pan, cover to keep hot.
2 Melt the butter or add the oil in large saucepan.
3 Peel and finely slice onion and add to butter/oil, cook until transparent.
4 Add the flour, stir with wooden spoon making sure it doesn’t stick to bottom of pan and cook for 2-3 minutes.
5 Remove pan from the heat and slowly add the water, stirring well after each addition.
6 Return to heat and add the tomato purée, stirring whilst adding it.
7 Add ¼ teaspoon dried herbs or 1 tablespoon of fresh herbs.
8 Bring the mixture to the boil, stirring all the time, letting the sauce thicken.
9 Cover and simmer.
10 Chop the ham, slice the mushrooms and add to sauce.
11 Add salt and pepper and taste.
12 Cook over a low heat for 5-10 minutes.
13 Put the spaghetti in the serving bowl/dish and pour the Milanese sauce over. Toss the spaghetti and sauce together so the spaghetti becomes coated with the sauce.
14 Sprinkle with fresh herbs and serve whilst hot.
15 If the dish is being used for a pot-luck supper, cover with tinfoil and keep hot in a medium oven, checking it to ensure it doesn’t become dry.
Use white or cream dishes to obtain maximum contrast with the red of the sauce and the white of the serving dishes. Serve with a crisp green salad and mop up any sauce with garlic bread or with the slices of a warm crusty loaf.
Pour the red wine and enjoy the delights of the food.