Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Beginning and the End

I thought I would post my last blog concerning last Monday's show by including a recipe I gave at the beginning as well as the final Quick Fix which has become a permanent fixture on the show. I hope you'll try both of them but if I had to chose one over the other it would certainly be the recipe for green beans, carrots and mortadella that I offered during the first segment of the show. This is one of those recipes that I discovered several years ago and that I must have at least once during the summer when green beans are so fresh and delicious. The addition of the Italian cold cut, mortadella, really makes this unique both in invention and flavor.

Green Beans with Carrots and Mortadella

1 pound green beans
3 or 4 medium carrots
1/4 pound mortadella or boiled ham, diced in 1/4-inch cubes
3 tablespoons butter

Wash, trim and boil the green beans in salted boiling water until done but still firm as they will be cooked a second time.

Wash, peel and cut carrots into sticks about the same length as the beans but a bit thinner.

Put all ingredients in a saute pan and cook on medium stirring things together. When the butter stops foaming, put a cover on and cook until carrots are just tender checking after about 5 minutes or so.

If you don't want to make this a Quick Fix sort of meal, then make some homemade pasta for this fresh, simple sauce. This is the perfect summer meal. Not too heavy and everything is in season. I'll be making it again soon as my tomatoes are now ripening.

Zucchini and Tomato Sauce for Pasta

2 medium zucchini
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cups fresh roma tomatoes, peeled and seeded or the same amount of canned tomatoes drained and coarsely chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
Handful of basil leaves, cut into thin strips
1 pound good quality spaghetti or spaghettini

Clean and shred zucchini on large holes of box grater. Set aside.
Cook garlic in olive oil until in just starts to color.
Add tomatoes, increase heat and cook until they are not watery any more.
Add zucchini, salt and pepper and cook until zucchini is tender, another 5 minutes or so.
Toss with pasta and basil.

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