Sabine Spaghetti Supper

I am still working on the pork roast, but last night, hungry, I added some pasta.  I made a sauce from things grown here in the Sabine garden.

You can see my sweet and small hot peppers, garlic, tomatoes, basil, garlic, fresh green fennel seeds.  I didn’t grow the salt.

The whole thing had to be reduced for a while.  Then I added the herbs.

I didn’t want to overdo basil with this.  I could have used oregano, but I wanted to keep it on the sweeter side.

At a certain point it can help to add some starchy water from the pasta pot.  This can bring the sauce together if it is sufficiently starchy.  I don’t often do this, because you mostly run a risk of making the sauce watery at the wrong time of the process: bad!


Then I settled in to watch the noble Twins against the hated White Sox. 

Alas, evil triumphed, …

… but supper was great!

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. ckdexterhaven says:

    Look at you Fr.Z, with your Santoku knife! I love mine.

  2. ckdexterhaven: Best knife I’ve ever had!

  3. Fr Ray Blake says:

    Feel like dropping by for dinner! And for less than a few cents!

  4. Jim Dorchak says:

    Fr. Z

    I have a wonderful recipie for smoked Lamb infused with Garlic, sea salt, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil cooked over the grill slowly.

    This is quite good all by itself, but the sauce is what sets it off as a perfect meal.

    The sauce is a minty very spicey hot sauce, and the mix of the smoke flavor of the Lamb sets of the palat. The sauce is made from liquified grap jelly, salt & black pepper, some butter, a little Balsamic, and whole mint once the sauce is boiling hot (remove the mint after it has totally wilted). Serve this with a spinach salad, Wild and white rice, and yellow squash and you have a perfect meal.

    I also have a wonderful stuffed pork roast, with gravy, scalloped potatos, and collard greens.

    Both of these are so good that you may not want to serve them since the geusts will be too busy eating to talk, but they will rave about the meal for years.

    Jim Dorchak

  5. Tim Ferguson says:

    I’m sure the saints of auld would have either made their own salt or gone without – or better, have used their bitter tears of lamentation over the unwonted luxuries of priests as savor to their sauces.

    Oh for shame Father! O tempura, O morrels! [ROFL!]

  6. Patrick T says:


    Just curious…where does the heat come from in your mint hot sauce?


  7. Jerry O says:

    Hi Father – I knew there was something down deep about you I didn’t like – “evil triumphed”???

    From a die hard Chicago Fan. [Eamus Catuli.]


  8. Jim Dorchak says:


    Lousiana Hot sauce or Texas Pete!

    I usually make two batches since some like it hot and some do not.

    Totally changes the sauce, with that woody nutty taste from the hot sauce. Use the sauce as a dipping sauce or pour over the meat once on the plate.

    The two things that change this meal entirely is first the smoking of the Lamb. It should be served rare to medium. The second is the hot sauce flavor added to the dipping sauce.

    The combinantion of these two things makes it a totally different meal than just lamb with mint sauce.

    I am hungry just thinking about it.

    Jim Dorchak

  9. Flambeaux says:


    What a wonderful sauce to complement an excellent meal. Thank you for sharing.

    Jim Dorchak,

    I’m interested in that smoked lamb recipe. Sounds like just the thing for next year’s Easter Feast. If you don’t want to post it here, would you mind emailing it to me? flambeaux_bearer[at]yahoo[dot]com


  10. Jim Dorchak says:


    As an example, my wife does not like Lamb, but she loves smoked Lamb.

    I made this meal for 120 people at Prince of Peace Catholic in Taylors SC for Easter Sunday Dinner (Latin Massers etal) 35 pounds of boneless leg of Lamb Smoked. I also made an additional 50 lbs of souther style smoked pork BBQ. The lamb was gone in 10 min at the first serving so I had to hold back the Lamb and push the pork. We we were out of Lamb by the end of the meal and people were picking scraps off the grill, and I still had 20 pounds of pork BBQ left over to take home. Mind you the BBQ was quite a treat in itself, and the left overs were Killer.

    Jim Dorchak

  11. Dave says:

    We had a VERY similar dinner here last evening, albeit with just a hint of mint, and gemelli instead of spaghetti…easier to shovel in in front of the television, you know.
    Always best to add the herbs at the end, as you say, lest they lose their flavor with overcooking.
    Of course, we were cheering for our much-beloved Pale Hose. God love the Twins, but the thought of them in the playoffs with the hapless Cubs at the same time is more than this Chicagoan could tolerate.

  12. Fr. Blake: Next time! Let’s make that happen. I’ll come to Brighton.

  13. Jim Dorchak says:


    St Joshua’s Dorchaks Smoked Lamb

    #1. 1 = Boneless leg of Lamb (get it at Sam’s ect..)
    Take Lamb out of net bag and butterfly out so that it is one long cut of meat about 4 to 5 inches wide and 3 inches thick.
    #2. Take some garlic cloves and slice them length wise. Use paring knife to poke holes in meat and push garlic into holes.
    #3. Rub Lamb down with sea salt, garlic powder, balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Let the Lamb soak in the mixture over night in the fridge.
    #4. Smoke the lamb on low heat on the grill. I have a smoker grill, but you can use a gas grill if you put some hickory chunks right on the flame.

    The Sauce:

    Take a large jar of Grape jelly and put it in a stew pot on low heat. The jelly will slowly melt. Caution: It will over boil if you do not keep a good eye on it, and you may want to use a larger sauce pan.
    Bring to a slow boil. After it begins to boil add some butter for flavor and smoothness. Add some garlic clove, Sea Salt to taste, and some white and black pepper also to taste.
    Take a large pile of fresh mint (you can use an extract here but we all know fresh is better).
    You can cut the mint or not it is up to you. Do remove the stems since they have no flavor (leaves only). Drop the mint into the boiling sauce and it will wilt instantly and give off the minty oils that make mint, MINT!
    Remove the mint (Strain the sauce) after you feel that it has done its job. Mint is edible but it does not like some people. Bring back to a boil and right before you serve add the hot sauce.
    The sauce should be served as hot (temperature) as you can get it.
    Let the Lamb rest after grilling. It should have a nice crust on the outside (we call it outside meat in the south) from the fat cooking off on the grill and the mix of all of those flavors of the meat vinegar, roast garlic, and sea salt; slowly being smoked to eating perfection.
    I slice the lamb in quarter inch slices and plate it next to the rice etc…
    I just cannot stand it anymore. We are having lamb for dinner tonight


    Jim Dorchak

  14. Ohio Annie says:

    Oh, you are all making this former New Englander drool. My problem is getting lamb that tastes like lamb. Ohio “market lamb” is grain fed and tastes like poor quality beef or mutton. The locals love it because they don’t know what real lamb tastes like.

    I am in gastronomic exile here, where people eat potatoes, bread, and corn at every meal because “corn is a vegetable.”

    Oh, enough, I go away now and sulk. Oh, but today is taco salad day at the cafeteria, that’s sorta like a national holiday but the banks are open! 8-)

  15. Flambeaux says:

    Ohio Annie,

    Perhaps Costco or Sam’s Club could come to your rescue? Both sell New Zealand lamb, IIRC.

    Jim Dorchak,

    Thank you.

  16. Tina in Ashburn says:

    Jim Dorchak
    Sounds fabulous. YUM. Lamb doesn’t like me – its hard to digest apparently.
    Maybe I’ll try this.
    How long do you smoke a lamb? How do you know when it is done? Julia Child liked her pork pink – does that work with lamb as well? [FIE on overcooked meat.]

    IF Father Z is looking for another subject to sponsor on the blog, Jim you may have started something. I bet many of us have some yummy recipes and techniques to share.

    I’m a lousy photographer however. Nowhere near the Fr Z level.
    Maybe we need a photo of your lamb Jim?

    Annie, finding good meat is hard here too. I have found Empire kosher chicken, and many kosher cuts, to be a safe bet.

  17. Melody says:

    Father, if you are ever in California do stop by for a visit. ^_^

  18. Diane says:

    Father – if you have ever made a roasted red pepper sauce and make it again, will you please post on it?

    I had one at a Niagara Falls restauarant that was out of this world. Never could duplicate it. It had tapioca in it too. I don’t know if they used sourcream or what. But, top salmon off with that and it was like I was in heaven.

  19. Fr. A. says:

    Fr. Z:

    Goodness is always victorious in the end, as the White Sox were last night. Good guys wear black, as you know. :)

    Fr. A (parish priest and Sox fan)

  20. Bill Fritz says:

    Good heavens, Jim. I’m with Flambeaux – next Easter’s menu is set! I’m a little sketchy on the grape jelly, but I’ll trust you. I love to cook, but you gentlemen put me to shame (I take comfort in the fact that Father Z was a professional). Incidentally, I discovered last night that beet greens add an interesting twist to a simple mushroom risotto…

  21. Tina in Ashburn says:

    Bill Fritz
    no no. grape jelly is a great ingredient.
    Years ago I was incredulous when asking for the recipe for a meatball appetizer at a friend’s. It was simply chili sauce and grape jelly and meatballs in the crock pot.
    Go figger.

    [i’m no fan this new fad of sugar in everything… I dig up old recipes/cookbooks to find unsugared recipes, like my coleslaw recipe without sugar.]

  22. Flambeaux says:

    In my case it was learn to cook or starve. I can’t say I’ve earned my daily bread in a restaurant kitchen, but I have put a roof over my head in times past.

  23. John Enright says:

    Looking at the veggies, and in particular the tomatoes, if I didn’t know better I’d think you were from New Jersey, land of the Perfect Tomato!

  24. Jim Dorchak says:

    Grape Jelly is an ingredient in many Chineese food sauces, as well as strawberry jelly (red Color).

    Tina in Ashburn

    I grew up on a beef farm and I think that most all meat should be rare when cooked.

    I know that the Lamb is cooked on the grill by the firmness of the meat and the color of the inside when I make a slice (If I am in doubt). I actually like my Lamb medium rare. It is very fatty. The fat gives alot of flavor to the meat and that is why I love to cook it on the grill since it self bastes as it is being smoked.

    Also I use low heat and cook the Lamb over 35 to 50 min on the high shelf in the grill. One bad thing is to burn Lamb, which it will do easily when you have flare ups on the grill, so put it high in the back and keep the lid down.

    Also I do get my Lamb from Sam’s Wholesale and it is NEw Zeland Lamb. Very tasty on its own.

    The only thing I do not like about Lamb is that it does not re-heat well as a left over. I usually make Gyros (Greek for Cheese burger) out of the left over lamb, and then I am not wasting food and still have the flavor. Home made Zatiki sauce is really strong. If you exhale flames will come out from the garlic.

    I have a famos stuffed pork roast to pray about as well.

    Jim Dorchak

  25. Madonna says:

    Dear Father–just a tip when you need to reduce faster: put the cooked tomatoes or squeezed out juice and pulp into an old, clean pillow case and hang in a tree outside till you think enough water drains off. It goes pretty quickly and lessens the time for cooking the sauce. Just a canning/cooking tip from this ole VERY Catholic canning Grandma/Mom.

    God bless for all your good work!

  26. Madonna: Thanks for that tip. I have used a fine screen and let them sit for a while, but that could work…except maybe when it is -15 degrees.

  27. Jane says:

    Father Z. you have a real advantage having once worked as a chef.
    I go the supermarket and get a jar of sauce and pour it over the spaghetti. It tastes much the same, but I do not have a sense of achievement. I can get that elsewhere.

  28. Jane: a jar of sauce and pour it over the spaghetti. It tastes much the same…

    Noooo… I can assure you… I doesn’t.

    But it is faster, and there is value in that too, when what in the jar is good.

  29. Charivari Rob says:

    …all pictures, descriptions, and accounts of this game are the property of Major League Baseball and may not be rebroadcast, republished, etc… without the express written consent of MLB and the Chicago White Sox…

    Looks like a serious violation, Father. It could be very embarassing if news of that got out. I’m willing to help you out, though. For a jar of tomato sauce, a jar of applesauce, and a pound of pork roast (all homemade, natch), I’ll forget that I ever saw that screen cap.

    Bring everything in an It’s Better In Latin tote bag to the sports bar across the street from the Metrodome at 3pm on Columbus Day. Tell the bartender that your name is “Joe Hardy” and you’re here to see “Mr. Applegate”.

  30. Charivari: Do your worst, fiend. That is merely a photo of my television, not a screen capture. HA! You are undone!

    You’ll NEVER get my sauce now! Not even if I have a blognic cookout in the Twin Cities!

    Everyone else will get some… not you.

    Threaten me, will you? I laugh!

    In the meantime, I had more of the pork roast tonight.


  31. Charivari Rob says:

    All “pictures” of the game are property of and (c) MLB.

    Yet, you maintain that yours was a picture that was not a picture of the game. A screencap of the broadcast would be a picture of the game. This was a picture of your TV, on which was a picture of the game.

    The old “Ezekiel” option – a wheel within a wheel.

    Curses! Foiled again!

    Just as well. I wouldn’t have been able to make that Columbus Day rendezvous, anyway. Gwen Verdon keeps hiding all my shoes.

    That roast pork really does smell nice, though. And it’s so tough to get good applesauce these days. You think maybe I could come over? I could bring a peace offering from Ice Cream Smith. Maybe an exchange of information? I have a nice recipe for rustic lamb roast, and another for pasta without boiling.

  32. Charivari: So NOW to try to make nice. NOW you want to make peace. I see… I see.

    Perhaps you can meet me at either Surdyk’s or Haskell’s for their upcoming wine sales (yes… I know when they are…) and we can… negotiate … your capitulation.

  33. Charivari Rob says:

    “…can meet me at either Surdyk’s or Haskell’s for their upcoming wine sales”

    Seeing as I live in Boston, that would need to be one heck of a wine sale.

    “yes… I know when they are…”

    You mean the sales with the dates posted in large type on their homepages? Or do they send you the private, double-secret, special-customers wine sale dates via e-mail?

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