Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Octopus Spaghetti in Homemade Tomato Sauce 自制番茄酱“墨鱼”意大利面

This year, my little boy's birthday party is all about being a captain, as in the captain who sailed the sea. So I have made him a captain hat, a sailor shirt, setup all the party decorations according to the pirate theme and of course, the food arrangement shall follow suit, right?

So, instead of the conventional spaghetti bolognese or standard presentation, I made these Little Octopus Pasta, to complement the party theme. These little pastas were a big hit in the party due to its amusing presentation,  everyone from little ones to adult were keen to give it a try. With the homemade tomato sauce, this is definitely a child friendly dish. I gave some pasta to my 1 year old baby too, just minus the sausages.

Little Octopus Pasta
If you have a picky eater at home or planning to host a children party, do give this a try. :)

Preparation Time: 10 min
Cooking Time: 20 min
Serving for: 6 little ones


For the Octopus Spaghetti
1/2 packet or 300gm of spaghetti
6 gourmet sausages of your choice, defrost completely and cut into 2" length each (make it bite size for the little ones).
Shredded cheese (optional, for topping)

For the tomato sauce
4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
4 large fresh tomatoes, finely chopped (or 1 large tomatoes with 1 canned of 28oz whole tomatoes)
1 large carrot, finely chopped
6 white button mushrooms, finely chopped
2 teaspoon of brown sugar (or according to your preferred sweetness)

Step-by-Step Guides:

For the Octopus Spaghetti
1. Break each spaghetti into approximate 5" in length,  poke about 8-10 strains of the spaghetti into each sausage to resemble an octopus and its tentacles, just like in the picture below.

2. Boil a pot of water, add a teaspoon of salt and cook the octopus spaghetti according to the time indicated on the packaging (between 5 - 10 minutes to ensure the sausages are thoroughly cooked or not overly cooked).
3. Drain the remaining water, run the spaghetti under cool water for a few seconds, add a spoon of olive oil onto the spaghetti, mix well and set aside. This is to avoid it from becoming soggy and sticking together.

For the Tomato Sauce
4. Heat up a large table spoon of olive oil in a frying pan, sautee the garlic until golden brown.
5. Add the carrots and mushrooms, stir fry for about 3 minutes then add the chopped tomatoes / canned whole tomatoes and mix well. Add about 1/2 cup of water, let the sauce shimmer on medium heat for 5 minutes then add the sugar. Turn off the heat once the sauce is thickened.
6. Let it cool, then blend the sauce with a hand blender until you get a fine texture. The homemade tomato sauce is now ready.

To serve, just add drops of tomato sauce onto the little octopuses, some shredded cheese and start chewing away!

Bon appetite!

I wish I had snapped more pictures to share but there was none left when I finally find time to eat something during the party, perhaps next time. :)

1. The preparation for this pasta is really easy and fun, so you may involve the elder kids to help up in the kitchen and make this one of the party activities.
2. The arrangement of the spaghetti is entirely up to your creativity, so be bald to explore and don't limit yourself to only octopus. I am thinking to make them into little train pasta next. ;)

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