Monday, January 21, 2013

Cooking with Nancy Drew: Italy & Spaghetti

Tour of Italy - Nancy Drew Style &
Sicilian Sausage & Pepper Spaghetti

Take a tour of Italy with Nancy Drew and enjoy some pasta while you're at it! Here are four Nancy Drew books where she travels to Italy for some excitement and mystery and delicious Italian food:

#65, The Mystery of the Winged Lion

Nancy travels to Venice and Murano and gets involved in a mystery involving a kidnapping, a glass making formula, and a gang of thieves.

#78, The Phantom of Venice

Nancy visits Venice and Murano again in this mystery and finds herself mixed up in another mystery involving glass making! 

Files # 73, Rendezvous in Rome

This mystery is book 2 of a trilogy of mysteries and takes place in Rome. Nancy gets caught up in intrigue while searching for a jewel thief.

Girl Detective #15, Framed

When an Italian prince visits River Heights, there's sure to be trouble! Trouble involving stolen art that leads everyone near the end of the story to Italy to solve the mystery. Nancy visits Milan and Lake Como.

Sicilian Sausage & Peppers Spaghetti

Begin by chopping and slicing up onions and bell peppers. I used yellow onions and baby bell peppers in yellow, red, and orange. These are sweeter and less bitter than green peppers. You can often find them in the grocery stores in bags now in a variety of shades.

Saute in olive oil until softened and caramelized around the edges. After a few minutes, add in minced or chopped fresh garlic.

In another pan while sauteing the onions and peppers, saute rope sausage (I used 2 beef for 4 to 6 people) that you've sliced into 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices. Sausage will cook down and begin to turn brown around the edges. Once the sausage is ready, drain the grease and add in the peppers and onions.

Now to make the sauce! There's homemade and there's quick and dirty and then there's souping up a jar of Prego when it will do in a pinch! Once you soup it up, it's not Prego anymore, it's much more like homemade. If you're not using some tomato puree and crushed tomatoes, substitute a jar of Prego. Then add to it, a large can of tomato sauce. And spices. I use a mixture of sweet basil, oregano, and Italian seasonings. 

I add by taste and sight, probably about a teaspoon or two of each. The pinch or two of white above is sugar to add just a slight sweetness to curb any acidity from the tomatoes--add more to taste if you like. I like a tangy spaghetti sauce.

Don't forget to give it a little kick! Cayenne pepper gives it a bit of flair. I put in a few shakes-probably about a 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon. Do this to taste because a little can sometimes go a long way! Let your sauce heat up and simmer for awhile while you boil your pasta. I use thin spaghetti but regular will do and penne is always good with this sauce.

Prep Time: Probably about 5 to 10 minutes of chopping, 20 minutes of cooking. Quick and easy! Enjoy with a baguette of Italian bread while you run around chasing thieves and enjoy gondola rides with Nancy in Italy.


Cover Image of Winged Lion from

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