Preparations for the annual St. Anne’s “Pasghetti” Dinner are already in high gear. Bill Wilson who, along with his wife Direen, is the music director for St. Anne’s Catholic Church, said the dinner is the one of the prime money makers for the music department of the church.
“More than that, though, it is a tradition here in Tucumcari,” said Wilson. Although the dinner has been around in its present state since 1989, it actually existed decades before that but had been dropped by the church until it was revived by an Italian Priest at St. Anne’s, Fr. Virgil Favfaro. “He was a very good cook directly from Italy, and he liked his spaghetti and he like it done right,” said Direen Wilson.
Since that time the church’s music department the spaghetti with meat sauce dinner each October. “Well, Father Virgil always insisted on meatballs, but it’s just too much trouble and takes too much time so we go with meat sauce,” said Direen. Bill Wilson said that cooking has already begun for the evening with the meat being browned on Tuesday and the noodles being precooked on Wednesday. On Thursday, the day of the dinner, Wilson said he and his crew of fellow spaghetti chefs will go into Hammond Hall at 2 a.m. to begin final preparation of the meat, sauce and noodles which must be ready by 11 a.m.
The two Wilsons said there are roughly 40 people involved with the preparation and serving of the “Pasghetti” a name that came about because of small children’s inability to pronounce the word “spaghetti”. “..And you know,” said Direen Wilson, “there are a lot of adults that can’t say ‘pasghetti.’” Bill Wilson said that by end of the day Thursday, the people at Hammond Hall will have served spaghetti to between 350 and 400 people.
A vegetarian sauce will also be available to diners as will salad, bread sticks and a special Italian desert cookie called pizzelli which is served with rainbow sherbet in such a way that it looks like a butterfly. “It’s all very special,” said Direen. Lunch will be served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and dinner will go from 4:45 p.m. to 6:45. Adults prices are $6 and children ages 4-10 are $3.