I have been curious about Marcella Hazan’s tomato sauce for ages (here’s the link to her cookbook, Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking). It does call for a lot of butter, but considering that I usually include copious amounts of sausage, bacon, or meatballs in my tomato sauces, I had no excuse to modify the recipe by using less butter.
The verdict? It was very sweet and delicious, and subtly different from any other tomato sauce I have made before. The onion was amazing, too!
Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter
(Adapted from Marcella Hazan)
32 oz can of whole tomatoes, roughly chopped
5 T butter
1 onion, peeled and halved
Put the tomatoes, butter, and onion in a medium-sized pot. Heat over medium heat until it comes to a simmer, then simmer for 45 minutes. Stir occasionally, breaking the tomatoes up with a wooden spoon. When it’s ready, you will see drops of fat floating on top of the tomatoes.
Remove the onion, then salt to taste.
Serve over prepared pasta.
I have been really into cold noodle salads lately, so I made this one to take to book club. If you are making it as a side-dish, be warned that it makes a ton (at least 8 servings).
Cold Peanut and Sesame Noodles
Adapted from Mark Bittman
12 oz angel hair pasta
2/3 c peanut butter
2 1/2 T sesame oil
1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 1/2 T sugar
1 T rice vinegar
3 1/2 T soy sauce
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 red bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
1/2 English cucumber, sliced into thin strips
5 scallions, finely sliced
1/2 c frozen edamame, shelled
Prepare the angel hair pasta and frozen edamame according to package directions. Drain.
Combine the peanut butter, sesame oil, ginger, garlic, sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, and red pepper flakes in a large bowl to make the dressing. Add the noodles and vegetables and toss to coat.
Three-bean salad is great because it’s light and healthy, but more filling than a green salad. Some of my other favorite side salads are macaroni salad, bacon-fat roasted potato salad with corn and jalapeño, grilled sweet potato salad, and broccoli and bacon salad.
15 oz can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
15 oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 c red onion, finely chopped
1/4 c apple cider vinegar
3 T olive oil
1 tsp dijon mustard
2 T sugar
Combine the beans and onions in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the vinegar, oil, mustard, sugar, salt, and pepper. Toss the beans in the dressing. Cover and refrigerate until ready to eat. If possible, make this at least an hour before you plan to eat it so that the beans can absorb some of the dressing.
I made this quick quiche for book club. It’s a really easy vegetarian meal, and it’s delicious at room temperature.
I forgot to take a picture after it had cooled, but it looked much better when the eggs had deflated a bit!
Spinach and Cheddar Quiche
1 frozen pie crust
1/2 T olive oil
1 shallot, chopped
3 c raw spinach
3 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 c milk
1/2 c shredded cheddar cheese (I used habenero cheddar)
3/4 c cherry tomatoes, halved
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a small skillet, saute the shallot in olive oil over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper. Once the shallot is soft, and the spinach and saute until wilted. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
In a medium-sized bowl, combine the eggs and milk.
Arrange the spinach mixture and cheese inside of the frozen pie crust, in an evenly distributed layer. Gently pour the egg mixture over the spinach and cheese, then arrange the tomatoes in the quiche.
Bake for 40-45 minutes, until the eggs are set and the quiche is golden brown.
Last night we had grilled pork chops (brined first, of course!) with mashed potatoes. Kale salad was the perfect vegetable side. Kale is a tough enough green to stand up to a heavier entrée and side, but the salad felt summery.
Kale Salad with Walnuts and Cranberries
3 leaves of kale, stems removed and sliced finely
juice of 1 lemon
handful of walnuts
handful of dried cranberries
Toss the kale with the lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, then add the walnuts and cranberries.