A large skillet, both heavy and durable, was the main kitchen requirement of every bride centuries ago, and the contemporary homemaker still does much of her cooking with a similar utensil, although it may be more sophisticated in appearance.
It is ideal for cooking combinations of pork, such as ham or sausage with macaroni or a vegetable -- hearty winter foods that are also easy on the budget.
In considering the household dollar, cuts from the pork shoulder such as blade and arm steaks, blade Boston roasts, smoked shoulder, and fresh and smoked arm picnics, are some of the economically priced cuts. Also good value are ground pork, pork cubes, and cubed steaks as well as the dependable well- seasoned sausages of various sizes with no bone waste or lengthy cooking. Macaroni and Ham Supper 1 16-ounce package elbow macaroni 1/4 cup butter or margarine 2 garlic cloves, minced 2 cups diced cooked ham or cooked sliced sausage 1 32-ounce jar spaghetti sauce, traditional or extra thick and zesty Parmesan cheese, grated
In large kettle, cook macaroni according to package directions. Meanwhile, in deep skillet over medium heat, melt butter or margarine. Add garlic and cook gently until golden. Add ham, or sausage slices. Cook, stirring frequently until meat is hot. Add spaghetti sauce. Heat thoroughly, stirring well. Drain macaroni; return to kettle. Add ham or sausage, sauce and mix thoroughly. Serve in warm bowls with Parmesan cheese. Yield: 8 servings. Ham and Cabbage Supper 1 small cabbage 2 or 3 slices leftover cooked ham 1 teaspoon caraway seeds 2 tablespoons butter or margarine 1/2 teaspoon black pepper 1 teaspoon prepared mustard Water as needed
Remove and discard coarse cabbage leaves. Slice cabbage crosswise, thinly in rafts as is often done with lettuce for salad. Place in skillet, spreading evenly. Slice ham in strips about 1/4 inch thick. Scatter evenly over cabbage. Scatter caraway sees over skillet contents. Add butter, black pepper, and lightly stir in mustard. Add sufficient water to cover about 1/2 of skillet contents. Cover tightly with heavy pot lid. Simmer until cabbage is just done, usually about 20 minutes. Check occasionally to make certain water has not boiled away. Yield: 4 servings.
To this melange may be added directly to the skillet, about 15 minutes before serving time: 1 cup cooked leftover sliced carrots or cubed potatoes or sliced green beans. These additions will extend the supper dish to 6 or 8 servings.
More and more supermarkets carry Italian sweet and/or hot sausages. Their unusual flavors are intriguing to the palate after our more bland sausages, unless you can obtain the old-fashioned Pennsylvania Dutch home- made sausages that have a true bite.
Any preferred type of pasta may be used with the Italian sausages, but the smaller forms such as bows and shells seem made to order for these particular sausages. Sausages Italiano 2 pounds Italian sweet or hot sausages 1 jar 32-ounce size Italian-style Spaghetti sauce 1 tablespoon instant minced onion 1 teaspoon dried basil leaves, crushed 1 cup small whole mushrooms, if desired, cooked or canned 18-ounce package bows or shells 2 tablespoons minced fresh Italian parsley
Simmer sausages covered with water for 15 minutes. Drain. Cut into thin slices and brown in skillet. Drain off fat. Add spaghetti sauce, minced onion, basil leaves. Bring just to boiling point, then simmer uncovered for 50 minutes. Add mushrooms, if desired. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions, al dente. Drain well. Empty into large platter. Pour sausages and sauce over pasta. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve immediately. Yield: 6 to 8 servings.