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Monday, August 4, 2014

Sausage & mushroom ; Taormina ( Chicken liver) PASTA SAUCES RECIPES FOR WEEKENIGHT DINNERS..streching your $ $ $ $'s

This is a wonderful supper dish and can be made using purchased pasta sauce or own made (recipe follows)

BASIC Tomato Pasta Sauce ( California style Marinara)..makes 5-8 cups

2 x1pound cans chopped peeled tomatoes in juice
1 cup finely chopped carrots
1 cup minced onion
4 cloves garlic smashed and minced
1/2 cup minced celery
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cups vegetable stock
1/4 cup red wine (optional)
2 bay leaves
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried marjoram

salt  & pepper to taste

heat the oil in a heavy bottomed saucepan, add the onions, carrots and celery and saute on medium high for 3 mins.
Add the wine and the garlic and then the canned tomatoes in juice, cook for 3 mins
Add the herbs and stock and simmer, covered/lidded on low-medium for 45-50 mins.
Remove and scum that forms on surface
Check seasoning adding salt and pepper to taste
If you prefer a sweet sauce add 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

You may also add at this time any more freshly minced garlic and or fresh herbs of choice.

Remove bay leaves and it is ready to use.

Variations you may add chopped ripe bell peppers, any summer vegetable, hot sauce or red chili flakes

Sausage Pasta Sauce serves 4
1 pound sweet Italian sausages (or may use any sausage you  prefer adding 1/2 tsp fennel seed)
2 tbsp olive oil
 2 tsp herbs of choice( basil, oregano, thyme, sage)
4 cups basic sauce (or store bought kind)
1/2 pound/1 cup sliced mushrooms(optional)
1 cup minced bell pepper ( optional)

Grated Parmesan to serve

1 pound uncooked pasta

Remove the sausage casings and cut the sausages into 1/2 inch sliced or crumble them up.
Saute in a skillet with 1 tbsp olive oil.
When  light browned and fat rendered remove form pan with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.
Saute the vegetables in the pan drippings and remove to a clean saucepan.
pour the basic tomato sauce over the vegetables and add the cooked sausage.
Bring to boil, then turn down simmer for 20-30 mins on low simmer.
Remove any scum and check seasonings adding more fresh garlic and or fresh herbs just before serving on the cooked pasta.
For Italian style serving, add the cooked pasta to the sauce and mix well, serve family style on platter and garnish with grated cheese and torn fresh herbs., drizzle with extra virgin  olive oil.

For American style serve the pasta on warmed plates and top with the sauce and offer grated cheese passed round the table.

Variation another topping for pasta and more economical is sauteed fresh breadcrumbs..process several slices of fresh bread into fine crumbs and saute in a 50:50 mix of unsalted butter and olive oil over high heat so the breadcrumbs become golden  brown, then drain with slotted spoon onto kitchen paper.
Serve sprinkled over cooked pasta and sauce and offer cheese on side, this provides a nutty flavor to pastas...this is very good on any fish pastas where cheese is traditionally not used.
You may also add minced parsley to the crumbs as they cool.

Taormina Sauce/Chicken Livers with Tomato Pasta Sauce serves 4

1 pound  chicken livers, trimmed and halved
3tbsp olive oil
4 cups basic pasta sauce
salt & pepper to taste
1 tsp fresh rosemary or 1/2 tsp dried
1 cup minced red bell pepper (optional)

Grated Parmesan cheese/minced parsley/ golden breadcrumbs to garnish

Heat 2 tsp oil in a skillet and in batches slowly saute the chicken livers until they just lose their  pink color, remove with slotted spoon and set aside.
Reheat the oil between batches.

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a saucepan and add the bell pepper and saute for 3 mins then add the  tomato sauce and bring to boil then very low simmer.
Add the  sauteed and drained chicken livers and  simmer for 15 mins.
Check seasonings and serve with cooked pasta, polenta or gnocchi
( see above recipe for serving methods)

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