Dec 18, 2009

What Pizzaghetti was really meant to be

I had to work late, so dinner was also going to be late.  However, the wife was hungry, and she was craving pasta.  Again.

“We’ve had pasta all week!!!” I reminded her gently.
She would not argue against pizza, she stated.  So off I went on the hunt for a  pizza to satisfy her hunger, and mine.

I figured I could get some pizza and maybe surprise her with a side of pasta.  A pizza-ghetti, or something similar to take out.

A pizza-ghetti is a combo meal, offered in a lot of family restaurants throughout Quebec, especially but not exclusively in italian-style chains such as Mikes (review), Pacini (review) or Giorgio.  Also very popular in these locations is the pizza-césar

Basically, a pizza-ghetti is a personal pizza, sliced in half, with a side of spaghetti, usually with a tomato-based sauce.  It is not something you would find in Italy, or in most countries of the world for that matter.

So I drove around Hull, looking for a pizza place that was not too busy and maybe could accommodate Mel’s pasta craving too. And I ended up at Dora Pizza, a small lebanese-owned pizza counter located on St-Joseph.

The pizza oven was dominating the space at the back, squeezed between dozens of empty boxes, that an employee was dutifully stacking while I waited.

I had ordered at the place before.  Dora Pizza delivers for free after 11 am everyday. It is one of these places where pizzas are always 2 for 1.  I peered at the menu, looking for the gem that would please my hungry woman.

Looking on the pasta side, the selection was limited.  Three types of spaghetti, two lasagnas, cheese ravioli.  No pizza-ghetti  there.  On the pizza front, 14 types were on the offering.  Classics such as All Dressed, Hawaian, Vegetarian were there.  And so were the less classic Taco, Smoked Meat and Pizzaghetti.

Pizzaghetti! Eureka!

But wait a second – why is it on the pizza menu, listed with the others?
I looked at the description:  Meat sauce, pepperoni, spaghetti, cheese.  Huh?
Well, whatever it was going to end up to be, I was ordering it.  What could possibly go wrong?

The pizzaiola, lebanese-born, was spinning the pie in front of me. So far, so good.
Meat Sauce, check.  Pepperoni, check. But I could not see any spaghetti, no containers, no cauldron, nothing.

And that is when the box stacker showed up, once again, but this time, no boxes.  Instead, he had a ball of spaghetti, steaming and covered with plastic wrap.  He gave it to the pizzaiola, and she proceeded to garnish the pie with it.  She finished it with cheese, and in the oven it went.  It came out soon after, and it was a work of art.

I was pleasantly surprised, and so was Mel. She’s made fun of pizza-ghetti before, but today she was quite excited when she opened the box.  For my part, I was worried the spaghetti would be dried up, but except for a handful of little bits, it was no different than any baked spaghetti. The meat sauce was correct, the pepperoni not overpowering. The mozzarella was alright, thought not quite as melted as it should have been.  All in all, not a bad food experiment.  If I were to make this at home, I would toss the pasta in the meat sauce first, to coat them nicely and make sure the meat sauce flavor would not be stuck between the meat and the pasta.  However, to order this again, someone would have to be in the right mood to enjoy it.


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