I Spa-Ghet-A Kick Out Of You – a Cole Porter-inspired spaghetti dish to give you a spicy kick!
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Mere alcohol doesn’t thrill me at all…
I Get A Kick Out Of You, the Cole Porter classic and Frank Sinatra standard, is a surprisingly upbeat song of unrequited love where life’s other great passions (alcohol, drugs and, erm, air travel) pale in comparison to the object of the singer’s desire.
The song was originally used in Porter’s sea-faring musical farce Anything Goes, sung by nightclub singer Reno Sweeney about the object of her lust, the identity of whom varies depending on which version of the libretto is used (the original 1934, or one of the revival versions from 1962, 1987 or 2011). In the 1962 version, the song appears late in Act 1 when Reno realises she is in love with Lord Evelyn Oakley, the fiancé of Hope Harcourt (who is loved from afar (well not too far, given that they are all on a cruise ship) by Wall Street broker Billy Crocker). In all other versions of the show, Reno sings the song much earlier in the show and about Billy, with whom she is desperately stuck in the friend zone. Keeping up?
Like its parent show, the lyrics of the song have been altered over time due to various sensitivities: a reference to the Lindbergh family was removed after the infamous child-kidnapping in 1932 and the reference to cocaine has also been changed on occasion, usually to “the perfume in Spain.”
The song has long been a part of popular culture, thanks in part to the many Sinatra versions, with memorable renditions by Ethel Merman (from the 1936 movie) and more recently, Jamie Cullum amongst many others. One of my favourite versions is the acapella version in the Mel Brooks movie Blazing Saddles – and it would be remiss of me not to mention this great gag from The Muppet Show.
Short of dousing you in alcohol and cocaine and then popping you on a plane, I thought it wiser to, instead, give this entree recipe idea a spicy kick… and add spaghetti for extra punnage points, hence I Spa-Ghet-A Kick Out Of You!
For this dish, you will need to use a tomato sauce base. I’ve used a half portion of the tomato and red pepper sauce from our Ri-Gotta Have Heart recipe. First fry up some chopped spicy chorizo (or other spicy sausage), draining off any excess fat. Stir in the tomato sauce and add your spices. I used a harissa spice mix, a north African blend of cayenne pepper, paprika and other herbs and spices, and has quite a powerful kick. Your usual chilli powder or hot sauce would be fine. Slice up a red chilli and chop some basil or parsley.
Cook the spaghetti as per the packet instructions and, when ready, stir through the sauce. Serve and garnish with the chopped herbs, chilli and grated Parmesan – you may want something cooling to off-set the heat: a few teaspoons of ricotta or some torn up mozzarella would be perfect.
Admittedly, the ingredients do take you on a bit of a tour of the Mediterranean (Italian pasta, Spanish chorizo, spices from north Africa), but this deliberately represents the route of the SS American in the show and is nothing to do with what was lying around my kitchen, honest! But still… anything goes…