Homemade Tomato Sauce
Oct14

Homemade Tomato Sauce

I’d never have dreamed of making Tomato Sauce from scratch, but Fabio got me with, “so simple I don’t even call it cooking.” Who knew that something so simple could be sooo good—and surprisingly satisfying to make yourself. I love the chunks of tomato and fresh basil, and it’s way tastier and healthier than any sodium-laden sauce you’ll find at the store. Fabio’s Tip: Use canned—not fresh—tomatoes, for better texture and consistent flavor.   Believe the hype about San Marzano tomatoes being special, because they really are. Don’t fall for the “San Marzano Style” variety—not the same!   Don’t do what I did and try to use the actual spoon (not the back of the spoon, as he instructed) to smash the tomatoes; one burst open and squirted boiling liquid onto me. I found my Epicurian flat spatula (one of my favorite cooking tools) easier to use. But if you don’t have one, the back of your wooden spoon will do the job.   This is definitely a time to bust out the high quality EVOO. I’ve used Trader Giotto’s Sicilian Selezione Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Kirkland Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Tuscany, and both were fantastic. That’s Kosher salt in the sugar bowl. (I got that trick from Alton Brown)   I did add a pinch of sugar at the end, because it tasted a little acidic to me. Smashing the garlic makes it easier to peel, and releases its oils, without making it too small and easy to burn.     This recipe produces two delicious cups of sauce, in which you cook Fabio’s Mom’s Meatballs >>   You can find Fabio’s Italian Kitchen at Costco or Amazon.com Highly Recommend! Click here for my book review and Fabio’s Cooking Demo at Cafe Firenze Cool Tools Epicurean Flat Spatula – Sur La Table Mario Batali 6-Quart Dutch Oven Fabio's Tomato Sauce 2013-08-06 17:53:56 Serves 4 Write a review Save Recipe Print Prep Time 10 min Cook Time 20 min Total Time 30 min Prep Time 10 min Cook Time 20 min Total Time 30 min 326 calories 20 g 0 g 28 g 4 g 4 g 433 g 73 g 13 g 0 g 23 g Nutrition Facts Serving Size 433g Servings 4 Amount Per Serving Calories 326 Calories from Fat 244 % Daily Value * Total Fat 28g 43% Saturated Fat 4g 19% Trans Fat 0g Polyunsaturated Fat 3g Monounsaturated Fat 20g Cholesterol 0mg 0% Sodium 73mg 3% Total Carbohydrates 20g 7% Dietary Fiber 5g 19% Sugars 13g Protein 4g Vitamin A52%Vitamin C108% Calcium13%Iron27% * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet....

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Lighter Beef Bolognese
Apr17

Lighter Beef Bolognese

Who doesn’t have fond memories of eating Spaghetti Bolognese as a kid! This is my healthier take on Giada De Laurentiis’ Simple Bolognese—chock full of veggies, and with tips I learned from making Anne Burrell’s more complex and time-consuming, traditional Bolognese.   I love that you can make this the day before, but be warned that the house will smell so incredible that it will be hard to wait until the next day!   I learned from Chef Anne Burrell to add the pasta to the sauce in the pot, with a little pasta water (if necessary) and “marry the two together.” If I’m not using all of it, I just add an equal amount of sauce to the amount of pasta I’m using. Add a little more sauce on top of each plate, drizzle a little high-quality olive oil over the top and sprinkle some parm to finish. Yumm! Who needs Maria’s!   His and Hers     I don’t usually make two different types of pasta, but I thought this would be a good way to illustrate this gorgeous sauce. Barilla Plus Spaghetti is my fav because it has extra protein and fiber; even little Aja loves it. Sam prefers Trader Joe’s Corn Pasta because it’s easier on his stomach. Click here for Orna’s Trader Joe’s Shopping List >>   I like Trader Joe’s Parmesan which has a coarser texture. Please do not use parmesan from a green can!   I found Laura’s Lean Beef (92% lean, 8% fat) at Ralph’s Market, and it was delicious. Check their website for a market near you that carries it.   I used Menage a Trois wine—because that’s my favorite wine to drink. See Trader Joe’s and Costco Shopping Lists. Make sure your knife cuts are even and the veggies are chopped small. It might sound as if you’re using a lot of salt, but you have to season every single layer, or the end product will taste bland; I learned this from Anne Burrell. Make sure to use kosher salt – it really makes a difference. I copied Alton Brown’s trick of keeping it in a sugar bowl; makes it easy to pinch. Remember that the parmesan cheese will add some salt at the end, so don’t over-salt. How to Coarsely Chop Mushrooms To coarsely chop the mushrooms; slice them with a sharp knife, and then working in batches, run your knife through them in different directions to get them chopped approximately the same size. Cool Tools Mario Batali 6-quart Dutch Oven LOVE using my dutch oven for this! Epicurious hard spatula Lighter Beef Bolognese 2013-08-06 17:15:29 Serves 4 Write a review...

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Caprese on a Stick—the perfect party bite!
Feb04

Caprese on a Stick—the perfect party bite!

This is the ultimate, easy-to-eat-and-prepare party bite! And healthy too! I found other versions of these online, but they all alternate a full tomato with a full mozzarella ball. I combine the two so that all the flavors pop in your mouth in each bite. I also use marinated mozzarella balls, which are more flavorful than the plain mozzarella balls (cieglini).   Gourmet Blends Traditional and Pomegranate Balsamic Vinegars are my absolute fav! They’re closer to a balsamic reduction in taste and consistency than a plain balsamic vinegar.   Mention OrnaBakes to get a discount!   If you don’t want to splurge on the Gourmet Blends vinegars, Trader Joe’s Balsamic Glaze is a delicious and more affordable option.   My mother-in-law recently brought me a beautiful basil plant, and now that’s the only way I buy basil. It stays fresh and smells great (though hubby does complain that it smells “green”) and seeing it inspires me to make dishes with fresh basil.   I usually keep my vinegars and olive oil in easy-pour bottles, but for this recipe I use plastic squeeze bottles to control the drizzle. Honey tomatoes are sweet and delicious and the beautiful yellow adds color to the dish. If you can’t find them just use all grape or cherry tomatoes. Make Ahead Tips Wash and dry tomatoes and put back in plastic container lined with a paper towel; saves you from cleaning another bowl. Do not refrigerate your tomatoes! Slice just before assembling and serving. The mozzarella balls can be sliced the day before. Don’t forget to taste your food to check seasoning before putting it out! (QC = Quality Control) Caprese on a Stick 2013-08-05 17:31:24 Yields 24 Write a review Save Recipe Print Prep Time 30 min Total Time 30 min Prep Time 30 min Total Time 30 min 62 calories 9 g 7 g 2 g 3 g 1 g 82 g 69 g 8 g 0 g 1 g Nutrition Facts Serving Size 82g Yields 24 Amount Per Serving Calories 62 Calories from Fat 20 % Daily Value * Total Fat 2g 3% Saturated Fat 1g 6% Trans Fat 0g Polyunsaturated Fat 0g Monounsaturated Fat 1g Cholesterol 7mg 2% Sodium 69mg 3% Total Carbohydrates 9g 3% Dietary Fiber 1g 3% Sugars 8g Protein 3g Vitamin A12%Vitamin C14% Calcium6%Iron2% * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs. Does this look wrong? Ingredients 12 honey tomatoes (Trader Joe's, Costco) 12 grape or cherry tomatoes marinated mozzarella balls (Trader Joe's, Costco) 24 small fresh basil leaves, or 12 medium...

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