Posted in Chicken, Quick Dinners, Recipes

Post-Workout Pasta

I feel like alfredo always gets a bad rap because it can be super fatty—like when you order it at a chain restaurant and it is probably made mostly of some kind of fake dairy product or weird by-product fat that did not come from an animal. Animal fat is not bad for you—in moderation. Especially those animal fats which melt at a high temperature, like duck fat. Which is how I typically justify duck fat fries, though I don’t eat them often enough where I should have to justify them, but still.

I like to make pasta alfredo from scratch because it’s just so easy. And please keep in mind that this recipe is not a “traditional” pasta alfredo. It does not call for any eggs and literally will take less time to cook than the pasta will, so pay attention and try not to be too impatient (like me). Since I don’t like to have any meals that exclude vegetables, I almost always add broccoli to my alfredo and most times I add chicken, which is optional here.

The other night, after a nice strength-building workout at the gym, I whipped this together for Mike and I in enough time that I almost didn’t realize I was famished from my workout. It is super important to me that I’m able to put something together quickly after I exercise—even though I always snack beforehand—because I have no patience when it comes to my hunger. And yes, I get hangry and it’s not pretty.

This recipe does not need much introduction or explanation, so I will let it speak for itself. Here she is:

Pasta with Homemade Alfredo Sauce and Broccoli

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 10-15 minutes

Total time: 20 minutes

Servings: 2

Ingredients:

½ lb. pasta of choice, (penne and gemelli are my personal favorites)

¼ cup heavy whipping cream (they sell it in this size at the market)

¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese (or Romano, or cheddar, or whatever flavor you are feeling)

3-4 crowns of broccoli, chopped into florets

1 clove garlic, minced

1 ½ Tbsp. olive oil

1 ½ Tbsp. butter

Salt & pepper to taste

Methodology & Instructions:

For broccoli:

  1. Steam in a small sauce pot, with the olive oil, garlic and salt & pepper, over medium heat.
  2. Depending on how mushy you like your broccoli, this should only take 5-8 minutes. Avoid raising the heat so that the garlic cooks but doesn’t burn.

For pasta:

  1. Start your water boiling for your pasta. If you’re unsure of how much water, etc., read the instructions on the pasta box. 🙂 Once the water is boiling and the pasta is in the pot, move to step 2.
  2. Over medium-low heat, melt butter in a large saucepan.
  3. Once it’s nice and melty, add the heavy cream and increase to medium heat. The cream will eventually begin bubbling and thickening. This is good. Stir often to avoid sticking and lower the heat if it begins thickening too quickly.
  4. Once the pasta is fairly al dente (not fully cooked by any manner), strain and add to alfredo sauce. Keep the heat on the pan, letting the pasta cook in the sauce and marry a little bit. (That’s what my mom likes to call it.)
  5. Add the cheese after 3-4 minutes, but be careful because you need to serve almost immediately. Make sure the pasta is cooked to your desired chewiness before adding the cheese.
  6. Lastly, toss the broccoli in with the pasta and toss to coat. The garlic will add a little extra flavor to the alfredo, too.
  7. Kill the heat, plate this deliciousness and enjoy.

Until next time,

Food Snob

Posted in Quick Dinners, Recipes, winter

Wok This Way 🍚

So, a few weeks before Chridtmas was the last time I’ve eaten Chinese food. Possibly ever. On this occasion, I had orange chicken over white rice, a favorite of mine, an egg roll and some beef teriyaki skewers. The weird thing was, within an hour I was sort of nauseous. Not like, I’m gonna be sick nauseous, it was more just this feeling of disgust with eating battered, fried chicken parts drenched in that sticky-sweet-and-spicy sauce. I couldn’t even think about it without my stomach turning over. Needless to say, I was not pleased and haven’t ordered Chinese since. (Not that I eat it often in the first place.) It still kinda feels like I had this big fight with Chinese takeout and we broke up. And I have a feeling I won’t be calling anytime soon.

A few months ago, however, I found a recipe for fried rice in Bon Appetit. It was a recipe that was a little out of my league and was provided by the magazine’s editor, Adam Rapaport. I check his note in every issue and, while this one was not what I was looking for, it was a challenge. It inspired me. I had my mind set. I would find a way to create delicious fried rice somewhere between soy-soaked Japanese hibachi and dry Chinese takeout. My mission had been decided and it didn’t take long to figure out, which was an awesome personal victory. The best part is, you can alter this to be low-sodium or even eliminate the soy sauce if you are super salt concerned.

Please note, before reading, that the method/instructions for this recipe are slightly advanced, but detailed. Keep in mind that the fried rice process happens rather fast and that it’s OK if it takes a few tries to really nail it. With this particular recipe, I have included some tips and struggles I experienced throughout the process.
RIFS Homemade Fried Rice

Sizzling away in the cast iron skillet.
Ingredients:

2 tbsp. grapeseed oil

1 c. cooked jasmine rice

1/4 c. broccoli florets

1/4 c. celery and carrots, peeled and chopped

1/4 c. sweet onion, diced

1/4 c. soy sauce

2 large eggs

1 tsp. raw sugar

2 tbsp. chicken broth
Methodology & Instructions:

1. Heat grapeseed oil in a cast iron pan over high heat. (Be very careful using a cast iron pan at this heat.)

2. Cook broccoli, carrots and celery, tossing vigorously, about 1-2 minutes. *If you like to keep frozen broccoli on hand, like I do, do make life easier, DO NOT put frozen broccoli directly into the pan. You will get spattered with hot oil. Do not make the rookie mistake I made.*

3. Add egg and stir/scramble vigorously until nearly fully cooked, about 30 seconds – 1 minute.

4. Add rice. Stir into mixture and then pat down into pan for 30-45 seconds at a time to crisp and dry out rice grains without burning. In between, stir together vigorously. Repeat process for 5-6 minutes. If rice doesn’t show signs of browning, continue a bit longer.

5. Add soy sauce. Repeat pressing and stirring process for 1-2 minutes.

6. Add sugar, onion, salt and pepper (about 1/2 tsp. of each). Repeat pressing and stirring process until onion softens and becomes translucent, 1-2 minutes.

7. Pour chicken broth around edges of the pan, press and stir until broth evaporates.

8. Serve. Optional: Top with torn cilantro.

Serves 2 people as a side dish.


Until next time,

❤️ Food Snob

Posted in Breakfast, Recipes

Breakfast While You Sleep 💤🍯🍴

Fitting in a healthy breakfast has been a daily battle for me over the last ten years. I have always gone back and forth between trying to have a savory breakfast and going sweet because it’s faster. Lately, I’ve been hooked on overnight oats and I’m so excited to share my obsession with you.

On some mornings, I will nibble on a couple of hard boiled eggs—yolks removed—and either a few pieces of bacon or a nice, fluffy, carb-y breakfast grain with butter. I don’t have overnight oats every day, but I’ve been much better at breakfasting since adding them into the rotation. They’re easy to make and inexpensive to maintain as a staple.

It is important to note that the key to overnight oats is the ratio. If you like your oats thick, it’s 1 part oats to 1 part liquid. If you like them creamy but not too thick, like me, use 1 to 1.25 and if you like them very thin, 1 to 1.5 and so on. You may have to experiment once or twice to find out.

Perhaps my favorite thing about overnight oats is the different fresh or frozen fruits I can add. I would never add fruit to my oatmeal because I never want warm or hot fruit. With the addition of this delicious breakfast, I am including more and more fruit into my diet. And I don’t have to do a thing in the morning except pack a spoon! How could you go wrong?

So without further ado,
Overnight Oats

Halfway through, productivity is at its highest.

Ingredients:

1/2 c. old-fashioned rolled oats

1/4 c. soy milk

1/4 c. cold water + 1/8 c. cold water

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 tsp. raw sugar

1/4 tsp. (or, a dash) cinnamon

Add-in possibilities: strawberries, blueberries, bananas, peaches, peanut butter, chia seeds, flax seeds, etc.

Methodology & Execution:

Mix all ingredients, including any desired add-ins, together in a mason jar. Let sit in fridge overnight, at least 8 hours. Grab out of the fridge, pat yourself on the back for making breakfast ahead of time, stir the mixture once more and enjoy!

This is one of those types of things where you may need to adjust the ingredients and/or ratios to your taste. This is a guide, the basics of what I’ve gathered in a few weeks of trial and error. Take back your morning—make breakfast while you sleep!

Until next time,

❤️ Food Snob

Posted in Recipes, Soup

The Big Game Day 🏈🏀

Super Bowl Sunday is easily one of my favorite days of the year. It used to be for the commercials and the halftime show, but now I crave the final day of the NFL season from August through February. This year, though, it’s a bigger game day than usual. This year Paul Pierce will play his final game in the Boston Garden—as a Clipper, but nonetheless. I spent the afternoon reminiscing about Celtics moments that involved Pierce and the history of my favorite player in franchise history. If you’re feeling nostalgic and/or if you are a fan of basketball in any capacity, I suggest you check out this clip.

I am always nostalgic when it comes to mentions of Paul Pierce. The first game he played in Boston wearing a color other than green—during his time with the Nets—brought tears to my eyes. The welcoming from the fans after mere months away from the team and the montage of moments played on the Jumbotron were awesome. I remember standing on the corner of Dartmouth and Boylston in 2008 when they won the finals. The crowd went totally insane when he came by on the duck boat, carrying the MVP trophy and puffing a cigar that had been gifted to him by Red Auerbach. I cried then, too. And I’m not even a little bit embarrassed. The Celtics are my team and Paul Pierce was my favorite Celtic to root for. I’m finally starting to feel all the feels again with Isaiah Thomas embodying the spirit of Boston, but he’s not even close to having an edge on The Truth. If there is a chance to attend his retirement ceremony—which I pray will be at the Garden, in Celtic green—I will be there. And I will try like hell to get to Springfield when he is inevitably inducted into the HOF—again, hopefully in that lucky green. Tomorrow, even though it is not the last game of his career, tomorrow I will have to say my fan farewell.

For the past few years I’ve been making spinach and artichoke dip from scratch for Super Bowl Sunday, but this year I felt like having chili and cornbread. I’ve made a couple of different types of chili in the past, but this one is an RI Food Snob (RIFS) Original. It will be the first of, hopefully, many recipes that will bear the RIFS tag as I mess around and/or ‘riff’ on different things going forward and make them my own.

So, without further nostalgia or sadness, I give you the Game Day Chili.

RIFS Game Day Chili

Game Day Chili featuring corn, ground beef and fire-roasted tomatoes.

Ingredients:

2 lbs. ground beef (1 lb. 80% lean/20% fat, 1 lb. 90% lean/10% fat)

½ yellow onion, diced

1 orange bell pepper or 3 baby bell peppers, diced

1 red bell pepper or 3 baby bell peppers, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

2-14.5 oz. cans diced fire-roasted tomatoes

1-15.2 oz. can sweet corn

1-32 oz. container low-sodium chicken broth

1-6 oz. can tomato paste

1 bottle of beer (lager or ale)

2 tbsp. cumin

1 tsp. paprika

1 tsp. ground (red) cayenne pepper

¼ tsp. chili pepper flakes

½ tsp. dried thyme

Salt + pepper

Shredded cheddar cheese

½ c. scallions, chopped

Methodology & Instructions:

1. In a medium sauce pot or Dutch oven, cook ground beef over medium-high heat with chili pepper flakes and ½ tsp. each of salt and pepper, making sure to break beef into smaller bits. (Not listed as an ingredient, I used about 1 teaspoon of olive oil to flavor the beef without creating extra grease. This addition is optional.)

2. Once the beef is cooked through, remove it from the pan using a slotted spoon to drain most of the grease from the meat and set aside.

3. Add garlic, onion and peppers to the same pan and cook until soft and fragrant, about 3-5 minutes.

4. Stir in thyme, paprika, cayenne and cumin. Add an additional 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Most of the fat/grease should be absorbed at this point, be sure to stir continuously so nothing burns.

5. Scrape any bits sticking to the bottom of the pan with wooden spoon and add beer, stirring continuously to deglaze the pan. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes or until most of the beer is absorbed.

6. Stir in both cans of tomatoes and cook for 2-3 minutes, allowing the juices to thicken. Add the beef back into the mixture as well.

7. Drain the can of sweet corn and add it to the pan, sprinkle with salt and pepper.

8. Add the chicken broth and and tomato paste, stir well and bring the chili to a simmer.

9. Simmer 25-30 minutes or until the chili becomes desired thickness.

10. Serve topped with cheddar cheese and scallions, or whatever toppings you may like!

Until next time,

❤️ Food Snob

Posted in Recipes, Soup, winter

Soup for the Soul – with a Kick 💥

 

The winter is coming and the little hints of darkness in the world sometimes seemingly become larger and more ominous as we lose hours of daylight and warmth. My heart goes out to all of those affected by the events that took place on the Ohio State campus on Monday morning. I could not express enough how important it is to create in times of the world’s troubles. Throughout my college and post-graduate education at Emerson College, I was constantly reminded by poets, novelists and memoirists of the 20th century that these dark times are ours for making beauty, ours for remembering and for brightening.

I have been attempting to make better habits out of submitting my works of poetry and have a selection of magazines I’d like to send individual pieces to. If you’re a practicing writer looking to submit, the Poets & Writers website is a great place to seek suggestions for submission. Once I’ve done a more substantial amount of submitting – and by substantial I mean some instead of none so far – I’ll be sure to share more about the magazines.

As the title of this post calls for, I have found a soul-encircling soup that is perfect for when the weather begins to deter our happiness. (I like to make the New England winters sound really ominous because I find it both interesting and humorous that I most definitely suffer from seasonal depression.) The bones of this recipe—not literally—originated in an issue of Bon Appetit magazine. The magazine is a personal favorite of mine and the subscription certainly keeps me interested and excited about adding new things to my kitchen resume.

Although I was not a huge fan of kale, I recently learned that it is much tastier when those pesky ribs in the middle are stripped away and the leaves are all that’s being eaten. Yes, I started eating kale before it was a huge trend and I did not know the ribs were supposed to be removed. Yes, I consider myself an intermediate-to-expert level home cook. Yes, I am OK with admitting this is silly and incorrect. I am mostly just excited that I can finally enjoy kale prepared at home because I couldn’t figure out why everyone else’s seemed SO good in comparison to mine.

In addition to the greens I am trying to fit into my diet, hence creating a soup that involves kale, I have been dying for a little kick. I’ve always been more comforted by a really good chili or tortilla soup than chicken soup when it comes to the coldest days of the year. This is because the spice that is typically included when it comes to chili or tortilla soup sort of extends the warming effect. If I eat something hot, brothy AND spicy, I feel like my chills will just go away and I’ll be able to focus on more important things. Instead of adding the obligatory hot pepper rings, cayenne pepper, jalapenos, hot sauce or other staple heat packing ingredients, I used my chili and garlic infused olive oil. I am obsessed with this olive oil. I used it on everything. I bought it over the summer at the outdoor Italian market in Philadelphia—I’m dying to go back—when I was visiting a friend and I need to either a) Venmo for more or b) order it from the website. The lovely little shop where I bought it is called Cardenas Oil & Vinegar Taproom and they have all kinds of wonderful goodies you might want to add to your pantry like infused oils, vinegars and different herbed salts, etc. It is absolutely magical and I need to find a place like this closer to me.

Now that I’ve rambled quite a bit, let’s get down to the recipe I have promised and thank you for your faithful readership until this big reveal.

 

Ingredients:

6 tbsp. olive oil (or 4 tbsp. olive oil + 4 tbsp. fancy infused Chili & Garlic olive oil)

1 lg. onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic (3 if not using garlic-infused oil), chopped

8 c. low-sodium vegetable broth (or 4 c. vegetable broth + 4 c. chicken broth for added flavor)

1 28-oz. can of diced tomatoes

1 c. pearl barley, rinsed (you can get this in bulk at Whole Foods without buying a package)

1 sm. bunch kale, stems discarded and leaves cut into small pieces (collard greens also an option)

1 15-oz. can cannellini beans, rinsed

2 pinches of red pepper flakes (optional KICK)

Salt & pepper

Grated cheese for garnish

 

Methodology and Execution:

  1. I usually eyeball my olive oil, but for the sake of the recipe, my instructions are 8 tbsp. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Once you can see that the oil is moving around easily, you’ll know it’s hot. Add the onions and garlic and season with salt and pepper. (Hint: A friend of mine recently informed me after taking a culinary class in Italy that garlic need not be peeled to have the same effects. I crush the cloves, inside their casing, with the flat end of a large knife, then throw in. The casing also has nutrients that add some extra benefits to the soup. Remove the cloves—if you wish—when the soup is done.)
  1. Once the onion is tender and translucent, about 6-8 minutes, add the tomatoes (Hint: Use whole, peeled crushed tomatoes if you don’t like chunky soup) with their juices and the broth(s) and bring everything to a nice boil. Add the barley to the boiling soup, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the barley is tender, about 20 minutes.
  1. Add the kale, beans and red pepper flakes (optional) and simmer until the beans are heated through and greens are wilted, about 3 to 5 minutes. I ended up simmering the soup almost an additional 20 minutes to ensure the kale had cooked down and all of the flavors had developed. I also did a few taste tests to make sure my lips got a little tingly from the spice—or else I would have had to add more flakes.
  1. Serving suggestion: ladle into bowls and add freshly grated cheese, toast some Italian bread for dunking.

I hope you’ll enjoy this recipe as much as I do—I wasn’t sure I would like it this much, but it is DELICIOUS! This is the desired result for testing out something new and developing along the way. I’m going to freeze some of this in small batches to have throughout the frigid winter. I’ll let you know how it works out.

Until next time,

 Food Snob

Posted in Chicken, Emotions, Hangover, Recipes

Good morning, America: My latest hangover.

“The opposite of war isn’t peace, it’s creation.” – Jonathan Larson, Rent

My head and stomach are in an extreme battle for who can make my entire physical being feel worse today. Things took a bad turn when Campaign 2016 commandeered all of the judgement left within my sound(ish) mind and forced my hand toward that last beer. It was the kicker, yet I’ll survive.

It’s not that I’ve never felt a hangover, a headache so overpowering I fear it may never leave, but this morning was different. This morning I recognized the opportunity to be a hopeful creative in a place that has turned not only against creativity throughout this presidential campaign (Though some of my fellow writers have gotten slightly more humorous of late and for that, I thank you.), but has given up hope entirely based on some ill-intended comments meant to incite a terrible nightmare. The gig is up and the trick only worked on half of us.

In my achy, fragile grey morning–though I swear I saw fire on the horizon!–I am able to only stomach some toast and a cup of English Breakfast tea. However, this feeling of mixed up confusion and slight hope that hope is still alive has lead me back here. Back to a platform I had created to incite my own destiny, to pump my life with my two favorite things whenever I so choose: food and snarky blog writing. And today I promise myself to force this practice into my routine and to give the Internet the Rhode Island Food Snob it deserves. If you’d like to be a part of the journey, please subscribe. Please comment or like and share anything you might like to add, see, learn, explore, laugh at, cry about. I’m game for all of it and I’m here to join a community of individuals I feel strongly about–those who use platforms like these to share what they love and look to connect, to heal. This is what we will need, now.

Please end the destruction, please stop tearing at a scrap that is already nothing, was already nothing before we began to divide it. Please, I urge you, go back to a place of creativity. Create anything: anger, humor, fear, animosity, excitement, light, hope–express what needs to be expressed in a constructive way. There are outlets all around us, please choose one and show us what you cannot live without.

In the meanwhile, for those of you seeking comfort, I have chosen an appropriate recipe for this post that I hope you’ll enjoy. Wake up with me and give the day enough time to ease your headaches.


Crustless Chicken Pot Pie

Ingredients:

1 whole chicken, cleaned and quartered

6 stalks of celery, halved

6 carrots, peeled and halved

2 small white or sweet onions, quartered

2 c. potatoes

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

3 sprigs fresh thyme

3/4 c. flour

1 tbsp. butter

2 tbsp. heavy cream

salt & pepper (additionally peppercorns, optional)

 

Methodology & Instructions:

For this particular recipe, I pulled from some strong sources. One being my mother’s experimental style of knowing how food should taste and messing around a little bit to create deep flavors and comforting feelings in my food. Additionally, as it was my first time making pot pie, I referenced some basic online recipes–specifically one from the Pioneer Woman because she offers multiple suggestions throughout the recipe. Thus, the below steps should be followed somewhat strictly by a beginner, referencing additional tips for certain prep work as needed, and loosely but with attention to detail for a pro.

  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, combine garlic, thyme (remove from sprigs–Tip: There are tools for herb stripping.), 2 tbsp. olive oil or canola oil, 3 tbsp. salt, 2 tbsp. pepper. Toss chicken, half of the celery, half of the carrots, half of 1 onion in mixture to coat.
  3. Place in a deep roasting pan and bake for 20-25 minutes or until chicken is just cooked through, celery and carrots become tender.
  4. Remove all ingredients from the roasting pan including any accumulated fat or juices and place in a bowl to cool. Once cooled, pull chicken meat from bones (Tip: Use two forks to shred the meat most easily.) and dice carrots, celery and onion. Toss together and let sit.
  5. Broth: Place chicken bones with remaining carrots, celery and onion in a large pot. Add 4 tbsp. salt, 3 tbsp. pepper or a pinch of black peppercorns. Fill pot with cold water before placing on stove to bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer 1 1/2 – 2 hours.
  6. In the meanwhile, place potatoes in a small pot, cover with cold water, add 2 tbsp. salt and bring to a boil on stove top. Boil 5-8 minutes or until just tender. (Tip: Poke with a fork to test for tenderness.) Once cooked, dice and mix with roasted chicken and vegetable mixture.
  7. After broth has simmered to full flavor, drain and discard bones and vegetables. Set aside broth and make the rue/pot pie filling.
  8. Rue: Place 2 1/2 cups chicken broth in a medium sauce pot and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Add butter and cream, mix together until smooth. Begin to slowly add flour while whisking constantly. Once rue runs smooth, begin to stir in roasted chicken and vegetable mixture, coating with rue. Add additional salt and pepper to taste and chicken broth for desired consistency.
  9. Serving options: Serve in bowls, or over toast or with buttered biscuits for dipping in place of crust.

 

Until next time,

Food Snob

Posted in Quick Dinners, Recipes, The Market

My Mean Tomato Cream

This month’s issue of Bon Appetit was the Winter Survival Issue for 2014 and provided me with some delicious dishes to serve up while trying to keep warm. Yesterday, I threw together my own rendition of warming comfort food for a quickly assembled Sunday night dinner.

There are a few things I’ve been meaning to make this winter that I haven’t gotten to yet: French Onion Soup & my own homemade Tomato Sauce. I still had some Turkey Tortilla Soup left in the freezer that I defrosted for the week, so I decided to spend yesterday making sauce and baking some Bacon Oatmeal Raisin cookies (recipe here) which I saw in Bon Appetit some time ago – that recipe needs some tweaking because my cookies came out hard as rocks and I don’t know if it’s my fault or the recipes, I’ll have to check with the experts (Mom, Grandma & Aunty Jen). My sauce recipe isn’t anything crazy special, but it caters to my desired taste & I really look forward to eating it once it’s simmering on the stove. For my own purposes, I only make about a quart at a time – I usually end up freezing half of it, too, since at this point in my life it’s really only me eating it – so you can double or triple this recipe if you please! I almost always make at least one of the meals with it as tomato cream sauce because it’s easily one of the most delicious things you can do with tomato sauce. It’s similar to a vodka sauce but easier to make! (I’ll add the steps for making the tomato cream at the end.)

The Food Snob’s Tomato Sauce

Ingredients:

1/4 c. sweet or white onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 can (your choice, I use Del Monte’s Italian Recipe) stewed tomatoes

1 small can tomato paste (I use Hunt’s, no salt added)

2-3 very ripe on-the-vine tomatoes, or any others you need to use up (I usually clean at least the seeds out)

2-3 TBSP olive oil

salt, pepper, sugar, basil (for flavor!)

Method/Preparation:

First, start with any ripened tomatoes you have lying around that you need to use up or some soft, bright red ones you might find hanging out with the vine-ripes at the market. I always start my sauce with fresh tomatoes to give it a little added sweetness and chunkier texture (I like lumps in my sauce, but nothing crazy). Start by heating the olive oil – I use half Canola, half EVOO so the flavor isn’t overpowering – in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, use just enough to coat the bottom so that your garlic and onion don’t burn. Once it’s up to temp, add your garlic and onions and stir them in to coat them in the oil. Add salt and pepper to flavor both ingredients. Once the onions are translucent and soft, add all your tomatoes, along with salt & pepper to season them, and bring the heat down to a simmer. Cover this mixture and let it ‘sweat’ for about an hour, the tomatoes will start to break down. Once the tomatoes start to look like a puree, you can add your canned tomatoes. Bring the heat up to medium and fill the can from the tomatoes about 1/3 of the way with water, swirl it around so you get all the rest of that good stuff and then pour it in the pot. Sprinkle about 2 tsp of sugar over the top and add the tomato paste. Return heat to a simmer and cover. Cook about 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally, or until all tomatoes are tender. I sometimes use a potato masher to make sure none of the tomato pieces are too big.

Once the sauce is put together, making the tomato cream is the easiest thing in the world. I also like to make my own garlic bread (yesterday I got lazy and bought some frozen) to dunk in the sauce because I’m gluttonous about my pasta, with no shame. For a green yesterday I reheated some leftover broccoli rabe, but almost anything goes with this including a small portion of salad.

For the Tomato Cream Sauce: Heat 1 parts heavy cream to 2 parts Tomato Sauce over medium-low heat in a medium pot/large sauce pan, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, boil pasta in a separate pot (I used Rigatoni yesterday) to just before al dente. Add a small amount of the pasta water into your sauce before draining – this will help the sauce and pasta come together better. Once drained, add pasta into sauce and turn heat up to medium. Stir occasionally until sauce bubbles and thickens, then remove from heat and add about 1/8 c. grated cheese. Stir until cheese melts into the sauce and serve immediately. Enjoy!

For Garlic Bread: Finely chop some garlic early in the day, like when you’re making your sauce, and store it in just enough Canola oil in a small cup in the fridge. Before you put the sauce and pasta on the stove, use a kitchen brush or the back of a small spoon to spread some of the garlic oil onto both sides of slices of Italian bread. Set the oven to BROIL. Let bread stand for a few minutes so the oil soaks in. Broil about 4-6 minutes on a baking sheet in the oven or until golden brown. Sprinkle immediately with grated cheese and fresh finely chopped parsley if desired. Serve with your pasta.

I couldn’t have been more pleased with this meal last night! As I said, the cookie recipe that I was juggling while I was making the sauce needs some tweaking, but otherwise I was pleasantly full by the time I went to bed and warmed to the core! I hope this brings as big a smile to your face.

— Until the next,

❤ Food Snob