Tuesday, June 9, 2015

The Frankie's Sunday Gravy aka the BEST tomato sauce you'll ever eat

My mom has this amazing cookbook called The Frankie's Spuntino Kitchen Companion & Cooking Manual and one day we (she) found this recipe and it totally changed our lives and how we eat red sauce.

It has just a few ingredients, but it takes a long time to cook... and let me tell you every second and every stir is worth it. FOR REAL.

I copied this recipe from this link they have a lot of input on this recipe as well.  I just wanted to have this in a central place for me to look back at when I'm feeling Italian.

  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 13 cloves garlic
  • One 96-ounce can (or, if you can find it, 1-kg) or four 28-ounce cans Italian tomatoes (my favorite are San Marzanos fromLa Valle
  • Large pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
(seriously, that's it!!)

  1. Combine the olive oil and garlic in a large deep saucepan and cook over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring or swirling occasionally, until the garlic is deeply colored—striations of deep brown running through the golden cloves—and fragrant. If the garlic starts to smell acrid or sharp or is taking on color quickly, pull the pan off the stove and reduce the heat.
  2. While the garlic is getting golden, deal with the tomatoes: Pour them into a bowl and crush them with your hands (it's so squishy and cool feeling). We like to pull out the firmer stem ends from each of the tomatoes as we crush them and discard those along with the basil leaves that are packed into the can.
  3. When the garlic is just about done, add the red pepper flakes to the oil and cook them for 30 seconds or a minute, to infuse their flavor and spice into the oil. Dump in the tomatoes, add the salt, and stir well. Turn the heat up to medium, set the sauce simmering at a gentle pace, not aggressively, and simmer for 4 hours. Stir it from time to time. Mother it a little bit.
  4. Check the sauce for salt at the end. The sauce can be cooked with meat at this point, or stored, covered, in the fridge for at least 4 days or frozen for up to a few months.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Summer Reading List: 2015

I love reading, and while this is going to be a crazy busy summer, I wanted to make a list and try to get through a few books this season.

  • JRR Tolkien: The Lord of the Rings
    • I read this book in college and really enjoyed it, even though it was the complete opposite of a quick light read. So far it's proving to be just as long as a read as it was 10 year ago, so I will filter through some other books when this one gets to be too much.
  • Jen Lancaster: I Regret Nothing
    • I LOVE LOVE LOVE her memoirs, and this one was no different. This book takes us through Jen's bucket list and her journey to make her life more fulfilling.  It's hilarious and inspiring. I love how her writing style makes me feel like I'm having a conversation with a friend, not just reading a stranger's story.
  • Dorothea Benton Frank: The Hurricane Sisters
    • I'm going to be honest, I don't really know what this book is about but I love her novels.  They're real and full of life and her characters spring from the pages.  I laugh, I cry, and I get angry when I read her books.
  • Gillian Flynn: Dark Places
    • Reading Gone Girl last summer made me a fan of this author.  She's creepy and entertaining, and I couldn't put that book down, so I'm excited to pick this one up.
  • Sara Gruen: Like Water For Elephants
    • I saw this movie years ago, and have wanted to read it for years before that.  I never got around to doing it before, so this is the summer to do it.
  • Anne Rice: Memnoch the Devil
    • I read this book when I was 15 and camping in Yosemite. There were times I had to put it down and walk away from it because parts of it seemed so wrong and opposite from the world I knew.  I'd like to take a look at it through my adult eyes and see what I think of it now.  I've read Rice's entire Vampire Chronicles and the first time through this was my least favorite of the series, I'd like to give it a second chance.

So this list isn't as long as some of the ones I've seen online at other blogs, but I feel like with what I have on tap over the next couple months (moving, a mini vacation for my birthday, a 40th birthday blow out for my BF, and whatever else life might bring) it's something that is doable (well, I may not finish LOTR, it took me 3 months to read it the last time I picked it up).

What's on your summer list?