As you all know, I lived in US for decade and half, before moving to home town Hyderabad. Our weekend breakfast in Dallas used to consist of either usual south Indian stuff, and we also used to make Spaghetti using either Ragu or Prego sauce, almost every other weekend. However, when we moved to India, me and kids had no way of satisfying the craving for spaghetti made with Ragu sauce. I used to bring some of those sauce bottle strategically wrapped in the suitcase during my US trips, and me and kids used to enjoy the spaghetti. We did not trust the Ragu bottles available in local super markets in HYD, as the product date labels weren’t always clear, and storage conditions were also questionable.
Later, Radhika banned Ragu in our kitchen saying, bottled sauce is made of preservatives and chemicals, and considered it as Dead Tomato’s Society. But I continued to smuggle the bottles in the suitcase, and me and kids used to secretly make the paste using the bottled sauce when Radhika was out of the home on her yoga retreats. However, now Radhika makes pasta sauce using fresh vegetables using south Indian spices as needed, just about in 15 minutes (hence no smuggling needed). She recently served Spaghetti to me, topped with dollop of desi cow ghee, in-lieu-of cheese, and added a small chunk of Gongura as the garnish on my plate, which was made with fresh leaves sourced from our friend’s organic farm (see the pic in the blog). It did give a different kick.
Howard Moskowitz, who reinvented, Spaghetti Sauce Fusion in USA, said there is no single perfect way of making Spaghetti sauce. He actually helped Prego (and then Ragu later) come up with several dozens of varieties of pasta sauces, in every conceivable format, by varying levels of sweetness, levels of garlic, number of vegetables, by tartness, by source, by sizes of tomato chunks and mixed with categories such Cheese, Light, Robusto, Rich & Hearty, Old World Traditional — Extra-Chunky Garden.
I am sure, if Howard Moskowiz had spent time in our kitchen, one more variety, South Indian Spaghetti Sauce would have been added to the list. Do watch Ted Talk by Malcom Gladwell (author of famous books such as Blink, Outliers, etc.) on the topic of “Choice, Happiness, and Spaghetti Sauce” where explained how Howard re-invented Spaghetti Sauce in US.