You read it right, catfish and spaghetti! Almost every friday we had fish. And that fish was always fried. Sometimes we had buffalo which had a wonderful flavor but way too many bones. Mostly we had catfish, fried extra crispy. The fish man parked about 3 blocks away on Ennis and we would walk over and buy fish off his truck. The fish was wrapped in newspaper and the fish was whole. I don't think I had a filet until high school!
Now this traditional Friday night meal was accompanied by the same thing every week: white bread (in case a bone got stuck in your throat), hamburger dill pickles, raw onion slices and spaghetti. The drink was 7 up or sprite. Now this sounds strange to anyone not from St. Louis but I guarantee that this meal is a delight.
You see, St. Louis soul food spaghetti is different from what you would expect in an Italian restaurant. Our spaghetti does have tomato sauce. However, it traditionally does not have Italian seasonings, meat, or parmesan cheese. The sauce is not served on top of the noodles either, it is mixed in.
The sauce is flavored with sauteed onions, bell pepper, salt, pepper, and garlic. Depending on the cook, one may find a teaspoon or two of sugar , Louisiana style hot sauce and/or extra black pepper. When served this way, spaghetti is an excellent compliment to fried fish. (optional additional side, potato salad)
The fish, is so good, no one complains about having it every friday. The recipe is simple. Season the fish (filet, steak or whole) with salt, pepper and garlic. Shake it in a bag of Corn Meal and fry it! Fry it in a large cast iron skillet in peanut oil until golden brown and crispy.
Mmm mmm, I can see the arch from here!