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Bringing Home the Bakin'

bake my cake and eat it, too

Tag Archives: easy italian food

I made this tomato sauce about a month ago with no intention of posting it to my blog (hence the sparse and unartistic photo display).  It is quite honestly one of the easiest things I’ve ever made, so I was hesitant to share, however I decided I couldn’t keep this 4-ingredient recipe a secret any longer.

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What I realized after a quick Google search, however, is that this recipe isn’t so secret — it’s actually pretty famous.  This recipe is one of many by Marcella Hazan, an Italian cooking legend.  Upon her death, this recipe exploded onto the internet food scene, and even made its way into the New York Times (where I found the recipe).  It is so simple and delicious, that I can’t even think of making another tomato sauce.  Because the sauce is a little rich (there’s quite a lot of butter…) I served mine over Spaghetti Squash (which was great!) although I’m sure it’s pretty hard to beat real pasta.

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Marcella Hazan’s Tomato Sauce – The New York Times 

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups tomatoes, with their juices (for example, a 28-ounce can of San Marzano whole peeled tomatoes)
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion, peeled and cut in half
  • Salt

PREPARATION

1. Combine the tomatoes, their juices, the butter and the onion halves in a saucepan. Add a pinch or two of salt.
2. Place over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, for about 45 minutes. Stir occasionally, mashing any large pieces of tomato with a spoon. Add salt as needed.
3. Discard the onion before tossing the sauce with pasta. This recipe makes enough sauce for a pound of pasta.
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A few years ago, I received a speeding ticket.  It was my first (and only) infraction, but because I was a new driver, I had to go to a traffic class.  I can’t say I learned anything valuable from the class, but what I did learn that day was the deliciousness that is Cantoro’s Italian Market (which is conveniently located next to the church where the traffic class was held).  A recent trip to the market inspired this meal.  The meatballs were moist and flavorful — anything you would want from a meatball.  The sauce was kind of improvised (no recipe there, sorry!), but any type of good marinara-type sauce would pair well with the meatballs.  Definitely, definitely, definitely make these meatballs!

Classic Beef Meatballs – The Meatball Shop

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 pounds 80% lean ground beef
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs (purchased fresh from Cantoro’s)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried (I left this out)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground fennel

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Drizzle the olive oil into a 9×13-inch baking dish and use your hand to evenly coat the entire surface. Set aside.

Combine the ground beef, ricotta, eggs, bread crumbs, parsley, oregano, salt, red pepper flakes, and fennel in a large mixing bowl and mix by hand until thoroughly incorporated.

Roll the mixture into round, golf ball-size meatballs (about 1 1/2 inches), making sure to pack the meat firmly. Place the balls in the prepared baking dish, being careful to line them up snugly and in even rows vertically and horizontally to form a grid. The meatballs should be touching one another.

Roast for 20 minutes, or until the meatballs are firm and cooked through. A meat thermometer inserted into the center of a meatball should read 165°F.

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