Moab, Grand County, Utah, USA

beckys.cooking.something.up@gmail.com

When people ask, "And what is it that you do?" My answer, "I cook dinner."

Spaghetti Sauce Recipe & Download

    

Spaghetti Sauce From Scratch 

Ingredients:
2 lbs tomatoes, washed and halved
2-4 Tbs of the following fresh herbs, minced 

(measure once they are minced) Basil 

Oregano
Thyme
Rosemary
Parsley, curly, flat leaf, Italian, any or all of them! any other fresh herb you have on hand and enjoy 

(such as Tarragon, which is strong and distinct and licorice-like) 1-2 tsp salt 

1-2 tsp pepper
2-4 shallots, depending on preference
4-6 garlic cloves, depending on preference 1/4 to 1 cup chicken broth
3 Tbs butter, divided
1 Tbs rice flour 

Instructions:
1. Preheat your oven to 200 ̊F.
2. Wash and halve the tomatoes, and it's okay to be rough with them, if you use a dull-ish knife, 

you know, the one you use to open the plastic wrapping on cheese, if you use that one, you'll lose more of those pesky seeds, which tend to contain the lectins (gluten is one type of lectin found in wheat, but there are lectins in all plants, especially nightshades... such as tomatoes.) 

3. Arrange tomatoes face up on a baking sheet, covering the entire sheet.
4. Mince all the herbs. I do the tough ones together, like rosemary and thyme, and then do a pass 

on the cutting board with the softer ones like basil and oregano, and then I generally do 

parsley by itself.
5. Sprinkle all the tops of the tomatoes liberally with salt and pepper, and then sprinkle the herbs 

evenly over the tops of all.
6. Place the herbed, spiced tomatoes in the oven and walk away, about 6 -8 hours.
7. Once the tomatoes are low-and-slow-oven-raosted, remove from the oven and set aside.
8. Mince or thinly slice the shallots, and peel, smash, and roughly chop the garlic.
9. Heat 2 Tbs butter in a large saute or saucepan over medium heat (I like to use my dutch oven 

for this), then suate the garlic and shallots together until translucent and softened, a few 

minutes should do it.
10. Meanwhile, while the shallots and garlic saute, place hopefully cooled tomatoes in a 

blender or food processor and briefly blend or process.
11. Add tomatoes to shallots and garlic, go ahead and add 1/8 cup of chicken broth*, 

bring to a brief boil then immediately reduce to a smiling simmer, medium low heat, and stir occasionally over the next 30 minutes - 1 hour. Check, and add additional broth as needed, 

  

though most likely you will not need to thin, but will need to thicken later.
12. When your house smells like spaghetti sauce, check the thickness, if you're needing a thick 

enough sauce to cover those meatballs you've made, and cling to those plump spaghetti noodles, 

then follow the next step:
13. To thicken, make a roux: In a separate saucepan, heat the remaining 1 Tbs butter until melted 

and whisk or stir in the 1 Tbs rice flour, stirring to combine completely and get rid of any lumps. Keep stirring and cooking for about 2 minutes for a very thickening but flavorless roux, or for about 10 minutes for a slightly less-thickening, but more flavorful, blonde roux. Let the desired, 

finished roux cool, and then temper it into your spaghetti sauce by adding a bit, a tablespoon or two of sauce to the pan of cooled roux. Then mix the entire contents of the roux pan mixture into your pan of sauce. 

14. Stir completely and then taste test, and test for your desired thickness. If you need it thicker, you can make another bit or roux; if you need it thinner, you can add a smidge more both. 

15. Now it's time to take your seared meatballs and simmer them a few minutes in your sauce. Yay! 

*I use a great recipe for chicken soup, that makes more broth than soup, and so I always use it as a multi-purpose recipe, getting a couple meals out of it: chicken soup one night, chicken tacos 

or enchiladas another night, and chicken broth to keep stocked (no pun intended) in the fridge. 

  

Using Store-bought Sauces 

These two brands, pictured left, I quite like. I've used them just as they come from the store: just pour them in my dutch oven, ready to heat my meatballs. 

If you want to spruce them up, or if you've got a type that is just in your cupboard and you don’t know why, but it's just not quite what you want, try this: 

Follow the steps where you mince the fresh herbs, saute the shallots and garlic, and add slat and pepper. You'll be surprised! 

Ingredients:
2-4 Tbs of the following fresh herbs, minced 

(measure once they are minced) Basil 

Oregano
Thyme
Rosemary
Parsley, curly, flat leaf, Italian, any or all of them! any other fresh herb you have on hand and enjoy 

(such as Tarragon, which is strong and distinct and licorice-like) 

1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper 2-4 cloves garlic 2 shallots
1 pat of butter 

Instructions:
1. Mince all the herbs. I do the tough ones together, like rosemary and thyme, and 

then do a pass on the cutting board with the softer ones like basil and oregano, 

and then I generally do parsley by itself.
2. Mince or thinly slice the shallots, and peel, smash, and roughly chop the garlic.
3. Heat the pat of butter in a large saute or saucepan over medium heat (I like to use 

my dutch oven for this), then suate the garlic and shallots together until translucent 

and softened, a few minutes should do it.
4. Add the fresh, minced herbs at the last minute, as you are turning off the heat to the pan 

and stir briefly.
5. Then add your additions to your store-bought spaghetti sauce and stir well. As you simmer 

the sauce before adding your meatballs, the additions should meld and add flavor to your sauce. 

Meatball Recipe & Download

    

Meatballs!!!
Inspired by Tratorria Dario, Vero Beach, FL and dawnviola via Food52 

Ingredients:
Breadcrumbs:
1 small loaf of fresh, white bread
1/2 cup olive oil
1 head of garlic
1-2 shallots
1 bunch of fresh basil
1/4 cup of oregano
3 Tbs fresh thyme leaves stripped of their stems 1 Tbs fresh tarragon
1/4 cup curly parsley
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp onion powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp white pepper 

Meatballs:
1 lbs ground beef or bison
1/2 tsp anchovy paste or the meat from 3 small anchovies 1 egg, beaten
breadcrumbs from above
2-3 Tbs olive oil for cooking 

1 wedge of aged parmesan cheese
(This is _not_ for garnish, it is _necessary_!) 

4 small basil leaves
(Okay, these are for garnish, but they're so nice!.) 

Instructions:
Make the Breadcrumbs
1. Tear the bread into small-ish chunks into the large bowl of a food processor and process 

into large crumbs. Set aside.
2. Chop or mince the shallots, then heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. 

Then peel and smash and very roughly chop the garlic cloves.
3. Saute the shallots and garlic until they become just roasted and lightly golden, 

a couple minutes.
4. Add all the herbs up to the parsley, and saute for a minute or two more.
5. Add the bread crumbles to the pan and saute several minutes until the bread has 

 

absorbed the herbs and oil and toasts to a nice golden brown on most of the crumbs. 

  

6. Add the garlic powder, onion powder, salt and peppers, and toss toast a few minutes more. 7. When toasted, remove from the heat and allow to cool for about 10 minutes.
8. When cool, add the now seasoned, toasted bread crumbs as well as the fresh parsley 

to the food processor and process for about a minute, then set aside 

one more time. (It's almost their time!)
9. Grind the meat in a meat grinder with the finest grinding plate you have.
10. Place your velvety ground beef or bison in a large bowl and smash in the anchovy paste 

and beaten egg and mix together with your hands.
11. Then add the breadcrumbs. They should be cool enough to also mix in with your bare hands. 12. Shape the meatballs. Trattoria Dario-style, I like to make them about 2 Tbs of meat each 

ball. I usually get about 6-8 meatballs. Place on a large dinner plate next to your large 

saute pan.
13. (The Food 52 recipe by dawnviola says to place the shaped meatballs in the fridge for 

20 minutes to allow them to firm up. I must confess, it's a nice step, but I do not always do this, and the meatballs still crisp nicely in patches on the outside and taste creamy, herbs and just wonderful. 

14. Heat the 2-3 Tbs of olive oil in the bread crumb saute pan over medium high heat and allow to heat for several minutes. 

15. Place the meatballs in the heated pan with some gentle tongs, being sure not to overcrowd them. 

16. Leave each ball on it's side for a couple minutes before turning. And turn each one in turn allowing each side it's couple minutes in the heat. 

17. Once all sides are browned nicely, and are looking photogenic, remove from the pan and place to simmer in the spaghetti sauce pot. 

Assuming you are making spaghetti and meatballs, and not just eating meatballs on a plate with a couple slices of fresh mozzarella on the side, then follow on. 

18. While your meatballs are simmering in your spaghetti sauce, heat 2 1/2 quarts of generously salted water with a dollop of olive oil on top, and bring to a boil. 

19. Boil your spaghetti for about 10-11 minutes, or by package instructions.
20. Drain your pasta and quickly rinse and re-drain.
21. Hopefully, your obligatory salad is already on the table, and your significant other 

has already poured a glass of Cabernet, and you've made the caprese salad earlier, because it's time to plate up! 

22. With your slotted, pasta-gripping spoon, dish an adequate portion of the pasta
squarely in the middle of a deep dinner plate, and ladle out two meatballs, and then ladle out that sauce. 

23. Complete the meal with freshly grated parmesan cheese and garnish with a basil leaf or two. 

24. Mangia! 

Meatballs! 12312019 (pdf)

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Caprese Recipe & Download

    

Caprese *sigh* 

Ingredients:
1-2 really nice beef-steak tomatoes 

(Who am I kidding, practically any tomato will do for this; you're about to make a vinegar reduction!) 

1 8oz block/log good mozzarella cheese 2-3 bunches fresh lettuce-leaf basil
6-8 fl oz balsamic vinegar of Modena 

and... a scented candle for your kitchen afterwards 

Instructions:
1. Pour the vinegar into a deep saucepan, and bring to just before boiling, then 

immediately reduce to a simmer.
2. Simmer the vinegar to reduce, this may take 20-30 minutes... and your house will 

smell like balsamic, but it's so, so, so worth it.
3. When the vinegar has reduced to the point it coats the back of a spoon, remove 

from the heat and allow to cool.
4. When cooled, it should be that beautifully black, tangy syruppy vinegar reduction 

that's ready to hover over your mozzarella, and just not quite soak into it, just not quite. 5. Slice your tomatoes, slice your mozzarella, and rinse and dry your basil leaves.
6. Layer, and drizzle away! 

...and light a vanilla-scented candle. 

Caprese 12312019 (pdf)

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