Spaghetti Night

spaghetti and meatballs, family, dinnerHow many spaghetti nights have I savored in my lifetime? I shudder to think of it, particularly during these low-carb days when pasta is a no no. Shaking my head, I avoid the thoughts in my head and reach for the ingredients from the shelf.

Why Spaghetti Night, I wonder as I start rolling the ground beef (lean), eggs, chopped onion, and parmesan cheese into meatballs. What would happen if instead I made, say, meatloaf, or God forbid, chicken cacciatore? 

I smile as I begin to sauté the meatballs in the large pan. I suppose one doesn’t sauté meatballs, but I’m not frying them for heaven’s sake. Browning, that’s the word. I’m browning the meatballs as I envision the horrified reaction of my family if I served something other than spaghetti on a Monday night.

It all began with my guy, of course. Although he comes from an Irish mother and an Italian father, he only acknowledges the Italian genes. He may be tall, blonde, and blue-eyed, but he’s Italian, by God, and Italians love their spaghetti.

So one of the first nights our kids were old enough to sit down at the dinner table with us and enjoy a “family conference”  – I think they were 2 and 4 years old – the man explained that real Italian families eat spaghetti at least once a week, so which day should we designate as Italian night?

The meatballs smell heavenly, and as the rain beats against the kitchen skylight I’m thankful that it’s Monday. I scoop the meatballs to a platter and add chopped green and red spaghetti, red peppers, green peppers, yellow peppers, family, dinnerpeppers to the pan, as well as a few mushrooms.

My 4-year-old daughter, that fateful day 25+ years ago, suggested that Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays would be good spaghetti nights. She loved her dad and figured more would be better. My man’s eyes lit up and he agreed, “Okay!”

I put my foot down and replied, “Mondays. That’s it.” Thus, Monday Spaghetti Night was created.

The vegetables are sautéed and I add a bottle of Newman’s sauce. I could make my own, but Paul’s family does such a good job and the proceeds go toward charity. I add the meatballs and let everything simmer for two hours. When my guy comes home, he opens the front door, takes in a big whiff and exclaims, “Monday night!”

The kids are out of college and living on their own now. It’s just the two of us. But Monday nights are still, and always will be, Spaghetti Night.

Granddaughter Sophie wants to start the tradition with HER family.

Granddaughter Sophie wants to start the tradition with HER family.

36 thoughts on “Spaghetti Night

  1. So nice to have these traditions. I have to side with your husband…I could eat pasta every night of the week! This reminds me of that old commercial – “Anthony! Wednesdays are Prince Spaghetti days!”


  2. I tapped into this piece, how well you write and what a wonderful way to chronical your life. Do you imply it’s ok to have spaghetti once/ week? :). Could almost smell the meatballs browning!


  3. As a fellow with a vowel at the end of his name, I must admit that Italian food can certainly brighten up a Monday. But why, pray tell, only spaghetti? Italian menus are quite a bit more diverse than that!

    Oh, and as far as carbs are concerned, forget ’em, Pam. Joggers need carbs for energy. How else are you gonna chase down Paul Newman’s costar?

    On another note, your granddaughter is adorable!


  4. It is not the spaghetti sauce, meatballs or even the pasta, that make this so special – it is the tradition! You made a special night a week, that your family looked forward to and gathered for food, talk and most importantly, LOVE! Your kids and now grandkids have a memory of this time; you could have just as easily made PB&J and it would still be YOUR FAMILY’S night to gather around the table.
    Thanks for sharing your tradition with us!


    • Ahh, yes, you’re absolutely right. Family traditions, if used properly, ARE about love, aren’t they? It would be fun if others shared their family traditions. There is so much sweet love shared amongst family, yet we don’t hear about it often enough.


      • We have several traditions, most of them center around holidays. Our favorite one is Christmas Stockings. When my girls were small, we were always hard pressed for funds at Christmas, so we never did the Santa thing. I mean, if we could only get them one thing, we weren’t going to give Santa the credit. But we did wait to fill stockings until Christmas Eve. When my girls got older, they would make things for our and each other’s stockings. This has grown into a huge tradition with 17 stockings! I’ve hand made each one! That reminds me, I need to get on the stick and make some a friend ordered!


  5. Bruce does not like spaghetti! Can you believe? It’s positively unAmerican! And, I could eat spaghetti every night of the week! Still we have remained happily married for almost 41 yrs….


  6. Dearest Pam….again what a great blog….you are amazing and I absolutely love reading everything you write!!! I so love spaghetti and reading this brought back so many memories of when my own kids were younger and we had spaghetti nights! So if I could just get out there to see you I would definitely come on Monday so you could set another place for me…yours sounds yummy!!! Your granddaughter is so adorable eating her spaghetti. Thanks so much for sharing the love of your tradition. Take care and God Bless dearest girlfriend!!!! Love you, Bev


  7. This was incredibly touching and ‘homely’ feeling, loved it…almost as much as I love pasta!!! One of the first dishes I learned to make from scratch all by myself, aged 11 I think, was macaroni cheese! Glad I read this post after a hearty breakfast, or you’d be making me hungry!


    • Hey, you’ve never had spaghetti for breakfast? My son thinks cold spaghetts (as we call it in our family) is the best. I’ll stick to toast in the morning, and a nice glass of chianti with my spaghetti at night.


  8. Aaahh, spaghetti! My hubby would be happy to have it more than once a week, too, although we don’t have a designated day for it. It must be torture to see him eat it if you can’t, or do you splurge on Mondays? 🙂


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