04 March 2009

Pasta Sauce a la George plus Salad a la Julia

George always comes up with really delicious pasta sauce. We've been scrounging around in our pantry lately because everyone's too lazy to go to the grocery store. George combined the following ingredients and then let it simmer in a cast iron fry pan for about a half hour:

1 can cheap beer
a small bag of dried porcini mushrooms with their soaking liquid
1 can tomato paste
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
a ton of dried basil
sauteed onion and garlic
kosher salt
extra virgin olive oil
(we didn't have bell peppers but he says that would make it better)

We served it with freshly grated Parmagiano Romano. Lately we've really been enjoying whole wheat elbow macaroni. It was not his best pasta sauce, but it sure wasn't difficult to make and much better than store bought stuff.

George's mother Julia made her favorite salad (she ALWAYS make this):
romaine lettuce
sliced scallions
gorgonzola or goat cheese
toasted walnuts
vinaigrette (she prefers aged balsamic vinegar but George and I like white wine vinegar. We use extra virgin olive oil)
Mix together and serve.

If you find it a pain to make salad because you hate washing leaves, let me inform you of a very quick way I learned from George's Aunt Gwen. First discard outer damaged leaves. Then while all the leaves are still attached to each other, tear or cut them up roughly. Put them in a big bowl of cold water. Rub the leaves against each other. Wait a minute for grit to settle to the bottom. Pull the leaves out and put in another bowl or collander. Pour out dirty water. Repeat once or twice. Put leaves in salad spinner and spin vigorously for thirty seconds. You now have clean greens.

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