What do The Godfather and this puppy, aka Scruffy Terrier, have in common? More than you may think.
This Scruffy Terrier will also make you that offer you can’t refuse. It is very frightening. Don’t let his innocent look fool you. I’ve been woken up in the middle of the night by a chilling feeling — you know when you feel something isn’t quite right, it’s the Scruffy Terrier sitting up on the bed. He just stares at me with a cold blank stare. What is he thinking, contemplating, or is he scheming? Gives me chills just thinking about it.
Then there are those “offers” he makes us: pet me now or I’ll keep jumping around you, annoying you until your nerves are wrecked and you can’t resist my offer any longer.
I also believe that they have a shared love for spaghetti in common. The Scruffy Terrier’s demands go like this, “get in the kitchen and make me some shpaghetti or I’m going to tell everyone that you are a bad Mommy and starve me.” (Shpaghetti is not misspelled, it’s just how Czechs pronounce it and our dog prefers that pronunciation over spaghetti. It’s something about the ch and sh sounds that get his attention.) Shpaghetti is one of the Scruffy Terrier’s favourite meals. Oh, and nothing better come between him and his spaghetti.
All kidding aside, my scrappy-scruffy terrier is actually nothing but a furry ball of love. He loves everyone and wants to share the love with both people and his fellow species. He doesn’t care if you want or don’t want some love and attention — you’re getting it! Panchito is one of the sweetest dogs in the world. He has been my little shadow for the past 12 plus years. He loves people food. Somehow he just knows what’s for dinner and when not to fill up on his dog food so he can save room for his people food dinner. Now I know many of you are bothered by the fact that we feed him spaghetti — or more specifically, pasta sauce. Don’t be. Our dog has been eating pasta sauce, pepperoni pizza and many other weird things for 12 years. We have been lucky that his stomach is like a rock and hasn’t had intestinal or health problems eating these foods. But that’s my dog, and may not be the case with many dogs out there. So please don’t take this as me telling you to your feed your dog spaghetti or pizza.
By now you’re wondering where the Godfather part comes in, I learned how to make a decent spaghetti sauce from watching this movie. The cooking lesson occurred during a scene in the first The Godfather movie. The dialogue went like this: “Heh, come over here, kid, learn something. You never know, you might have to cook for 20 guys someday. You see, you start out with a little bit of oil. Then you fry some garlic. Then you throw in some tomatoes, tomato paste, you fry it; ya make sure it doesn’t stick. You get it to a boil; you shove in all your sausage and your meatballs; heh…? And a little bit o’ wine. An’ a little bit o’ sugar, and that’s my trick.”
After watching that scene I tried out the recipe. Much to my surprise, I was so happy with the results and the realisation that I would never have to buy the disgusting jars of pasta sauce that are available to me here. I’ve been making my own homemade pasta sauces ever since. While my sauce started out exactly as in the movie scene, it has evolved to what you see here. Often times I add or omit an ingredient, it really depends on what I have in my kitchen. So here is my general recipe and the one I always use for spaghetti night.
Ingredients: ( 4 servings for 1 lb. or 500 grams spaghetti)
one 15 oz (400 grams) can of chopped stewed tomatoes (if using whole canned tomatoes first break up before using)
6 oz (200 grams) tomato puree
8 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tbsp. Parmesan cheese
finely sliced/diced olives, optional
1 tsp. dried thyme
2 tsp. dried oregano
2 tsp. dried basil
1 large bay leaf
large pinch of granulated sugar
1 tsp. sea salt, adjust to taste
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1 Tbs. olive oil
1/4 cup (100 ml) red wine*
Additional and optional ingredients:
minced meat or sausage
*I will leave out or add it after I separate some sauce for the puppy, because alcohol is bad for dog.*
1. Heat the oil, add the minced garlic and cook for 3 minutes, then add all of the spices, parmesan, sugar and salt and stir for 1 minutes. Add the wine then the stewed tomatoes and tomato puree and olives too. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until ready to serve.
If using sausage or minced meat fry until cooked through then add the remaining ingredients. You can use this basic tomato sauce for spaghetti or any other type of pasta you like. I like to use it on just about any pasta, even to make lasagna. It also freezes well.
Do you remember that movie Lady and The Tramp and the scene where they are having a romantic dinner slurping the spaghetti? Panchito kinda looks like him. Now if we could only find him a girlfriend…. But he’d skip the long romantic walk and go for seconds then right into ….mmmmm.. let’s just call it dessert to keep it G rated.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family does.