Just Improvising…

March 17th, 2010

cooking with Juan makes me happy… well, Juan makes me happy… there is just some special about making dinner together… sharing something I enjoy with him… plus, he is always agrees to cut the onions for me… I think I’m gonna keep him… we recently came up with this creation… it was delicious…

Ginny and Juan’s Pasta

1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tblsp. olive oil
1 can chopped tomatoes
about 1 1/2 cup chopped sausage (Alpine Sausage from Gene’s Sausage Shop)
garlic salt, pepper and italian seasoning to taste

In a saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Saute the onions and garlic. Add the tomatoes and heat through. Add the sausage and season to taste. Throw over some pasta and top with cheese.

Pasta e Fagioli…

February 23rd, 2010

Certain recipes bring up memories… this one brings up two (well, now three)…

The first time I had Pasta e Fagioli, I was in Rome. One of my father’s colleagues lived there and she met me for lunch one day. We went to a small trattoria off the piazza near the Pantheon. It was small place… She ordered for us… a classic Roman meal… starting with pasta e fagioli… it was delicious! Something I would have never chosen myself and I loved it. I tried to go to the trattoria a couple other times during my time in Rome but… it was never open again… one of those little places that only the locals know when it is open…

The second time, my co-worker called me… “My mom gave me some pasta fazool, I’m coming over!”… As the two Italians in the office, we bonded quickly and became really good friends… her mom’s was also delicious… sprinkled with a lot of parm… we sat around eating and sipping wine…

For Christmas, my mother (a.k.a. Santa) gave me Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan. Flipping through it, I saw her Pasta e Fagioli recipe and decided to give it a shot. I made this for our New Year’s Eve dinner… Juan’s sister doesn’t eat meat so I made it meat-free… it was great… I’m sending it over to My Legume Love Affair #20 started by the Well-Seasoned Cook.  Check out the round-up.

Pasta e Fagioli
(recipe from here)

1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped onion
3 tablespoons chopped carrot
3 tablespoons chopped celery
2/3 cup plum tomato, chopped with juices
1 cup dried cranberry beans, soaked and cooked
3 cups (closer to 4) vegetable broth
Salt and Pepper
1/2 pound tublar macaroni
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoons parm

1. Put the olive oil in a large stock pot, cook the onions until tender at medium heat.
2. Add the carrot and celery, cooking for about ten minutes.
3. Add the cut-up tomatoes with juices and bring to a simmer for about 20 minutes.
4. Add the beans and stir for about 5 minutes.
5. Add the broth and bring to a boil.
6. Add the salt and pepper to taste.
7. If there is a lot of broth, then cook the pasta in it. If not, add more broth and bring to a boil. Cook until the pasta is tender. (I did not add anymore broth and it was less on the soupy side but still delicious. I would probably cook the pasta separately).
8. Serve with parm.

One of those days…

January 18th, 2010

Ah Monday… of the second week of class… so much to do… I came home needing something warm, comforting and filling…

Inspired by Smitten Kitchen and Use Real Butter…I looked in the pantry and came up with my own quick tomato sauce… served over tortellini… it was pretty delicious!  Now… back to work!

My Quick Tomato Sauce

1 garlic clove, sliced
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 tomato, chopped
1 cup tomato sauce, canned
1/2 cup water
1 Tbs butter
1 Tbs olive oil
1 tea Italian Seasoning
salt & pepper

1. Put butter and olive oil in a sauce pan, saute the garlic and onions.
2. Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato sauce and water.
3. Sprinkle with Italian Seasoning, salt and pepper (Go light on the salt as the sauce may already have some).
4. Simmer for 20 minutes until it thickens.