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Monday, February 27, 2012

Spaghetti octopuses (octopodes?)

I have suddenly seen pictures of these all over the interwebs, and I had to try.  I've seen a few variations and few notes about problems, and this is what I did.

First of all, I've heard people complain that the spaghetti gets mushy.  I cooked mine on slightly under a rolling boil and used regular thickness spaghetti.  I also broke the spaghetti strands in half before putting them in the sausage, so we didn't have crazy-long strands to deal with. 

I've seen complaints that the spaghetti didn't cook fully inside the sausage.  I used regular thickness spaghetti (nothing thicker) and used warm baked Italian sausages rather than chilled pre-cooked knockwurst or hot dogs.  I also prepped the octopuses ahead by several hours and gave the pasta a little headstart on softening. 

The delight of doing this?  More independent toddler/preschooler delivery of pasta to mouth...observe:

Sausage Spaghetti Monsters
Makes 4-5 servings

1 1/4 lbs. sweet Italian sausage (I used Johnsonville)
1/2 lb. spaghetti
Optional: marinara sauce, parmesan, chopped basil, chopped parsley, butter or olive oil

Bake sausages on a baking sheet for 20-25 minutes, until cooked through and lightly browned.  Remove to a cutting board and cool 10 minutes. 

While still warm but not too hot to handle, cut each sausage link into 4 pieces crosswise.  Break the spaghetti strands in half.  Insert about 8 strands into the warm sausage pieces (you'll have leftovers).  Put on a platter and fridge until ready to cook (at least a few hours, if not overnight).

Prepped pasta octopodes

Bring a large pot of water to the boil.  Do not add salt or oil.  Gently place "octopuses" and leftover pasta in water (spaghetti will seem limp and about to fall out of sausage, but that's ok!), and reduce heat to medium-high.  Boil 10 minutes.  Drain carefully.  Dress with sauce, cheese, herbs or oil to serve. Pin It


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  2. Actually...putting on my Linguistics Scholar cap (it looks at dorky as it sounds)...I looked up the plural of "octopus" because I dimly remembered learning in high school Latin class that "octopus" is not in fact from Latin (-us --> -i being a latinate pluralization, if the -us word is 2nd declension and not 4th declension).

    It is Greek, and the Greek plural of "octopus" is "octopodes". Who knew?