1 28-ounce can whole San Marzano tomatoes, certified D.O.P. if possible
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
7 garlic cloves, peeled and slivered
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 large fresh basil sprig, or 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, more to taste
Pour the tomatoes into a bowl and crush them with your hands
Afterwards, fill the can about 1/4 to 3/4 way with water; slosh around to capture the tomato juices and bits, and set aside for a moment.
Use more water if you want a lot of sauce, or are finishing meatballs, or want it to simmer for a long time. Use less water if you don’t have much time
Slice the garlic cloves as fine as you can
Put the pan on medium heat and add the olive oil
When the olive oil starts to shimmer, toss in the garlic and let it sizzle
BEFORE the garlic starts to brown, pour in the tomatoes, followed by the water from the can, and sprinkle on the oregano and pepper flakes. If you’re using fresh basil, lay it on top.
Turn down the heat and let the sauce simmer for 30 minutes to an hour. It will get a nice orange-y color to the top. You can reduce it until there’s no visible water, but no more than that – remove it from the heat if you reach that point!
This recipe is great because it’s tasty and doesn’t take a lot of extra work, but it does take time. Expect prep plus cooking to be an hour.
You really want to use a heavy stainless pan, 12″ or larger.
Our local grocery store carries canned whole San Marzano tomatoes, and they are certified D.O.P., but they already have basil added (so we don’t actually put additional basil in).
I’ve tried using canned crushed tomatoes but it messes with the texture and flavor. Crushing them yourself is easy yet so satisfying.
Our best experience was making meatballs at the same time, and finishing them off in the sauce. The sauce picked up some extra flavors that made it sublime.
This is a great side for pretty much any meat dish, especially on a cool fall day. The smaller, skin-on potatoes are tasty and not nearly as bad for you as a full-size, peeled and boiled starch-bomb white potato.
3 pounds of small red, white, and/or purple potatoes
Lots of supermarkets carry 2- and 3-pound bags of mixed, pre-washed small potatoes, which is really handy if you want more colors
6 cloves of fresh garlic, crushed
A couple of shakes of black pepper
a pinch of salt
2 tablespoons of minced fresh parsley (optional)
Preheat your oven to 400° F
Halve and/or quarter your potatoes; chunks should be roughly between 1 and 3 cubic inches
Toss the chunks into a freezer bag with the remaining ingredients, adding enough olive oil to coat the potatoes, then mix in the bag
Spread the potatoes into a single layer on a pan or baking stone
Bake for an hour, flipping everything over at least once to keep things from scorching
Tortillas are surprisingly easy to make, but it does go a lot faster with two: one to flatten dough while the other cooks the previously-flattened dough. Each tortilla takes about as long to cook as to roll.
These tortillas are good enough to eat plain. They store well in a ziploc baggie.
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup oil
(up to) 1 cup warm water
Preheat a large skillet on medium heat (our stove runs hot so it’s more like medium-low, YMMV)
Mix flour and salt in a medium mixing bowl
Cut in oil with a pastry blender or a fork
Slowly incorporate water, mixing until a soft dough forms
Make 2-inch dough balls – probably ten or twelve
Roll flat with a rolling pin. The dough should be as close to paper-thin as you can make it (you’ll probably wind up with cardstock).
You won’t need to flour the surface – if the dough is good it won’t stick (except maybe to the rolling pin)
Cook the tortillas one at a time until they start to bubble, then flip and heat until brown spots form.
I love black bean burgers, which means in my house I’m the odd man out. That used to be ok because I didn’t make them – I would only buy them when we went out so no one else had to put up with them (I happen to love the ones from Blimpies but Subway has a good one too). That is, until now.
16-oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 bell pepper, finely diced
1/2 or a small onion, finely diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon of chili powder
1 tablespoon of cumin
1/2 – 1 cup of breadcrumbs
Dice the bell pepper and onions
Mash the beans (optionally reserving some to mix back in after mashing). I find a regular pot and a potato masher work well.
Mix the beans, peppers, and onions together
Mix in the egg, chili powder, and cumin
Mix in a half-cup of bread crumbs
Add more bread crumbs, a little at a time, until the mixture isn’t wet anymore
Form into patties
Fry in a little oil on medium heat, or better yet in hamburger grease, until both sides are toasted. Serve on a hamburger bun.