Kitchen Adventures: A war of spaghetti

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Food column by Becca Owsley

By Becca Owsley

There are times in the world of food that lines must be drawn and allegiances should be made.


Times when talk of who has the best recipe comes to a climax and words become actions. The result, in this case, is a little something called spaghetti wars.

This particular war was fought at Herb Jones Chevrolet, Buick, GMC in Elizabethtown.

On one side of the war was Milka Pomey. From the former Yugoslavia, Pomey knew her mother-in-law’s recipe, which Pomey has cooked since 1974, would emerge victorious.

The competitor was Mark Hierve, whose recipe was handed down from his Italian grandmother, once the cook for the Italian ambassador to Switzerland, the country of his birth.

Both came with the confidence they would be named victors and each had their own strategy and method.

Pomey fought with a trusted recipe written on a note card that had yellowed in the passage of time. To her sauce she added meatballs for an extra touch.

Hierve, who followed after the tradition of his grandmother, used no recipe. He added his ingredients until his sauce got to his desired taste.

The lobby was filled with the smell of Italian spices as the challengers brought their dishes to the table, or should we say battlefield?

The victory would be decided by bystanders invited to feast on the spaghetti lunch. Anonymous ballots were used to choose the victor.  

Each sauce was savored.

Who would win this spirited battle of sauce and savors?

The result was a tie, which is how it should be because both spaghettis were delicious.

While the event might have been a bit exaggerated for dramatic effect in the narrative above, I think this spirited competition that took place in the middle of a workday on Friday is great for the world of food and should be encouraged often.

As a foodie, I love it when people take pride in their cooking and family recipes steeped in tradition. I applaud both Pomey and Hierve for their good spirited and fun food war and hope similar events take place in offices and homes more often.

I salute you both and will never divulge which was my favorite, unless forced to by eating more delicious spaghetti.

Becca Owsley can be reached at (270) 505-1741 or bowsley@thenewsenterprise.com.

Milka Pomey’s Spaghetti Sauce
1/2 cup minced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup salad oil
6 ounce can tomato paste
2 ½ cans tomatoes
8 ounce can tomato sauce
3 cups hot water
½ teaspoon powdered cloves
1 teaspoon powdered sage
1 can sliced mushrooms
thin spaghetti noodles
Parmesan cheese

Sauté onions and garlic in oil until golden brown. Add all remaining ingredients except mushrooms, noodles and cheese. Bring to a boil, simmer uncovered two hours or more, stirring frequently.
Add mushrooms during last hour of cooking and adjust liquid to desired thickness.
Serve over noodles and top with parmesan.

Milka Pomey’s Meatballs
1 pound ground chuck (lean)
1 egg beaten
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon minced parsley
1 cup soft bread crumbs
½ cup grated cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons fat
Combine all ingredients except fat. Shape into small meat balls. Brown quickly in hot fat on all sides. Then add with drippings to sauce and cook in sauce fat at least half an hour.

Mark Hierve’s spaghetti sauce
Fresh parsley
Fresh basil
Tomato paste
Tomato sauce
Add ingredients together and cook to your taste. Hierve couldn't provide measurements. Sometimes it just depends on your mood, he said.