Spaghetti Soup (Shiver)

This Story of Mom’s Bad Cooking was lovingly Submitted by Donna Fasano

My step-mother, may she rest in peace, still has 100% of my heart (“Love you!” I shout heavenward), but she couldn’t cook worth a darn.

One of her worst culinary disasters was a mess I always called Spaghetti Soup. She liked her pasta “good and done” so she boiled a pound of spaghetti for at least 20 minutes…sometimes longer if she used a fancy shape like elbows or shells. The result was always the same: water-logged strings or small, gummy globs, depending on the shape of pasta she’d used.

Then she would pop open two–yes, two–jars of (hmmm…am I allowed to reveal brand names?) let’s just say commercial spaghetti sauce (for legal reasons) and she would pour them over the nearly-translucent, gelatinous spaghetti. Then she would stir, and stir, over a medium flame. “To heat up sauce,” she’d explain. I once suggested that she heat the sauce before adding it to the pasta. “Why dirty up another pot?” she asked, looking at me as if I were a dunce.

Luckily, my father didn’t like Eye-talian food, so my step-mother only made Spaghetti Soup once a month or so…”for something different.” It was different, all right.

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