Friday, September 23, 2011

Roasted Tomatoes

So, I've once again been blessed by the generosity of a dear friend and her insanely abundant garden.  This time, Roma Tomatoes.  Oh Romas, how I love thee.  This was delicious as a side dish for literally anything.  We had it with Meatballs, Mashed Potatoes and Gravy (which was also a gift from this same friend - and equally delicious!).

Roasted Tomatoes
Original recipe by Ina Garten
Adapted recipe by Kitchen Groovy

12 plum Roma Tomatoes, halved
1/4 C good olive oil
1 1/2 T aged balsamic vinegar
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Arrange the tomatoes on a sheet pan, cut sides up, in a single layer.  Drizzle with the olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  Sprinkle with garlic, sugar, salt and pepper.  Roast for 25-30 minutes, until the tomatoes start to caramelize and the flavores are concentrated. 

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Tomatoes are abundant this time of year - this is a must have delicious new side dish to try out!!

Please click here for a printable version of this recipe - Kitchen Groovy

Enjoy and live with gusto!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Real Meatballs and Spaghetti

In the past, I have made my own spaghetti sauce, and I've had success with it.  But, I haven't had anything that was SO great and incredible.  Except this one.  It is really good.  I mean really, really good.  The sauce is a simple sauce, nothing complicated or overly done.  For something like this, I don't want anything that is going to try to draw attention to itself with fancy ingredients.  This is simply put, a beautiful recipe.  Thank you Ina Garten. 

The meatballs are a bit more time and labor intensive - so feel free to do something different if you're in a hurry.  But, what ever you do - DON'T SKIP THE SAUCE! 

On another note - my family loves a lot of sauce on their noodles, and I always felt that Ina's recipe never provided enough sauce.  So, I have doubled the sauce recipe :-)

Real Meatballs and Spaghetti
Recipe courtesy of Ina Garten

For the Meatballs:
1/2 lb. ground veal
1/2 lb. ground pork
1 lb. ground beef
1 C fresh white bread crumbs
1/4 C seasoned dry bread crumbs
2 T chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
1/2 C freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 extra large egg, beaten
Vegetable oil
Olive oil

For the Sauce:
2 T olive oil
1 whole white onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 C good red wine, such as Chianti (I used a Malbec, as this is my favorite wine)
2 - 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
2 T chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
3 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

For Serving:
1 1/2 lbs. spaghetti, cooked according to package directions
Freshly grated Parmesan Cheese

For the Meatballs:
Place the ground meats, both bread crumbs, parsley, Parmesan, salt, pepper, nutmeg, egg and 3/4 C water in a bowl.  Combine very lightly with a fork.  Using your hands, lightly form the mixture into 2" meatballs.  You will have 14-16 meatballs.

Pour equal amounts of vegetable oil and olive oil into a large 12" skillet (I used a large Dutch oven) to a depth of 1/4".  Heat the oil.  Very carefully, in batches, place the meatballs in the oil and brown them well on all sides over medium heat, turning carefully with a spatula or fork.  This should take about 10 minutes for each batch.  Don't crowd the meatballs.  Remove the meatballs to a plate covered with paper towels.  Discard the oil bud don't clean the pan.

For the Sauce:
Heat the olive oil in the same pan.  Add the onion and saute over medium heat until translucent, 5-10 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute.  Add the wine and cook on high heat, scraping up all the brown bits in the pan, until almost all the liquid evaporates, about 3-5 minutes.  Stir in the tomatoes, parsley, salt and pepper.

Return the meatballs to the sauce, cover and simmer on the lowest heat for 25-30 minutes, until the meatballs are cooked through.  Serve hot on cooked spaghetti and pass the grated Parmesan cheese!

Please click here for a printable version of this recipe - Kitchen Groovy

Enjoy and live with gusto!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Asparagus with Balsamic Tomatoes

Hellooooo!!!!  Today is the first day of school for our family (except my kindergartner who starts tomorrow) and I feel as though life will finally return to normal once again!  I love summer, but boy was this last one a summer to go down in the history books in terms of craziness.  I am sad to see my kiddos gone during the day, but I am definitely welcoming a life of routine.

Our family was at a friend's house for a BBQ, and I was tasked with making this side dish.  I had no idea that this is what I would be making.  Of course, I was excited to help with the meal prep!  And, this dish was SO good, I just had to share it ASAP!

(I have no idea where the recipe came from, so I am not able to give credit where it is due - sorry!)

Asparagus with Balsamic Tomatoes

1 pound asparagus, trimmed
2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 C halved grape tomatoes (we used 3/4 C grape tomatoes, 3/4 C roma tomatoes, chopped)
1/2 tsp. minced fresh garlic
2 T balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp. salt
3 T crumbled goat cheese
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1. Cook asparagus in boiling water 2 minutes or until crisp-tender.  Drain.
2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add tomatoes and garlic, cook 5 minutes.  Stir in vinegar, cook 3 minutes.  Stir in salt.  Arrange asparagus on a platter; top with tomato mixture.  Sprinkle with cheese and pepper.
How easy is that!!?? 
We used a combination of grape tomatoes and roma tomatoes - and the chopped romas sort of "melted", for lack of a better term which gave more of a sauce type mixture.  Personally, I really liked it that way as I prefer that texture vs. just straight tomatoes that are intact.  Yes, it's a quirk of mine.

The picture is not the best - I wasn't expecting to blog about this particular recipe and didn't have my camera with me.  However, my phone did a decent job, don't you think?!

Please click here for a printable version of this recipe - Kitchen Groovy

Enjoy and live with gusto!