Tomato Sauce

Mother’s tomato sauce (cir. 1970’s)

sauce, cooked down to perfection

Tomato Sauce

“How can something so simple, go so wrong”, I’ve often thought when eating a pasta dish at a restaurant. I think, either you know and understand the proper taste of pasta sauce, or you’ve missed it and should seek out some super fine recipes for correcting your faults. It’s a taste acquired from generations of tasting and preparing. I remember my Noni’s spaghetti sauce-my sister insists she finished the sauce with a dash of cinnamon, but I don’t remember this. I recognize my mother’s sauce just by the aroma when you walk in the kitchen, and now, my kids have a distinct tongue for a good sauce. Practice or improve with this recipe. Enjoy.
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Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings 5 people

Ingredients

  • 1 cup onions usually 1 large onion chopped
  • 1/2 cup carrots a fine chop, or fine grate
  • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 Tbs butter
  • 1 Tbs olive oil or more if desired for sauteeing onions and garlic
  • 1 can Roma tomatoes diced is preferred
  • 1 Tbs sugar optional, depending if your from Northern or Southern Italy.
  • 2 tsp red wine vinegar also optional, or use balsamic
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 tsp sea salt remember your quality sea salt
  • 1 Tbs rosemary fresh, depending on your love of the herbs, I use 1 Tbs each
  • 1 Tbs oregano fresh
  • 1/2 lbs ground meat fresh, optional of course. you could also add diced bacon, or use italian sausage

Instructions

  1. Sautee over medium heat the onion & garlic until translucent and giving off a nice aroma. Cook over very low heat, the onion, celery, carrot, bacon if used and garlic in the butter and olive oil for 10 minutes, then turn the heat up so that they brown lightly. Add the rest of the ingredients, and bring to the boil. Don’t cover the pan, but keep the sauce bubbling and busy for at least 15 minutes. It will reduce to a rich stew. No need to stir.
  2. Add your meat and cook until well combined with garlic and onions.
  3. Add herbs and salt. Season to taste.
  4. Add tomatoes. I usually add a can of tomatoes, then dice up whatever fresh tomatoes I have in the house.
  5. Add your acidic liquids (vinegar, wine), and your sugar
  6. Bring entire mixture to a low boil, then turn down to a simmer, cover with a lid and let it cook down. The desired amount of texture and color is determined by you. I usually do 2 hours if I have the time. Otherwise a minimum of 30 min.
  7. Serve over pasta, on rice, or use for dipping fresh bread. Enjoy! This sauce can be stored in the fridge for a day or two.

Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Source:  Auntie Paulie (1970’s)

Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Well, it was a Thursday night after a day of touring around town. The usual question came up, “What’s for dinner? I’m hungry!”. Gulp, I had to come up with something fast, or the natives would become restless! My aunt came to my aid and said, “Let’s make grilled cheese sandwiches, those are quick and delicious.” "Yes, great idea!" I quickly replied-once we ate these, it immediately reminded me of my childhood. Sure, I’ve made these before for the kids, but it’s been a while. We used what we call here, “Bauern Brot” which is a rustic farm bread, sliced it up, pulled out what I had in the fridge for cheese, which was Gruyere and Appenzeller cheese, warmed up the cast iron pan, and cooked away. Enjoy, and remember, never forget the simple things!
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Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 5 people

Ingredients

  • 10 slices bread rustic, or your favorite sliced bread
  • 1 handful grated gruyere cheese use a nutty flavor cheese, just grate the desired amount per sandwich. Some like more cheese, others less
  • 1 tbs butter for both exterior sides of the sandwich, and a bit more for the pan

Instructions

  1. Slice your bread to your desired thickness
  2. Melt the butter, then brush both sides of your sliced bread with the fine, melted butter. (brushing melted butter gives a bit of a crispy texture to the bread)
  3. Grate your cheese (either all at once, or you can grate per sandwich) and load cheese on 1 open side of bread. Note: grating cheese vs. sliced cheese: I like the grated method better, cheese melts quicker, and the texture is a bit creamier.
  4. Add a dollop of butter to the hot pan, then put the filled sandwich into the hot pan.

  5. It usually takes 2 1/2-3 minutes on each side until it's golden brown and cheese is melted. If a little more heat is needed, cover the pan w/ a lid, but watch closely until cheese is melted. Enjoy

Zucchini Bread

Source:  Internet  Circ:  1950’s

Zucchini Bread

This bread recipe is something you dig up when you’re usually overflowing with zucchini from your summer garden. It’s usually around the time of Fall. So, like myself, I was doing a search on zucchini bread. Of course, there are plenty of recipes, and all are very similar. I just found one that was the recipe of someone’s grandmother, and I was impressed. I hope you enjoy it!
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Course 3 Dessert/pudding
Cuisine American
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 4 people

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup canola oil or 250gr melted butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups zucchini shredded
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup nuts walnuts, pecans, hazel (whichever you like best)

Instructions

  1. Mix together eggs and sugar until creamy and frothy.
  2. Add melted butter or oil. Add in your vanilla and cinnamon.
  3. Begin to add the flour, and rest of the ingredients. Stir together and mix well with a wooden spoon or spatula.
  4. Preheat oven to 200°C. In a buttered loaf pan, pour in the batter, bake for about 45-55 min.

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