When it comes to food!
I suppose I can only speak for
myself, but I love all things food/wine/beer ; it's yet another way that
we comune with each other on the most essential human level. There are few things in life that are more enticing than good food and good company.
To that end, I'll include a favorite recipe, wine, or beer every once in a while; some of them will be recipes I've grown up with (my Sicilian-American mother = Seriously good food) and others that I've learned from other places. I'll also pick some of my favorite, lesser known craft beers - There's a fabulous world of interesting, complex, delicious craft beer, especially right here in the NY metro area.
To kick this thing off..... My mother's Italian Gravy- aka Tomato sauce the right way ;)
What you need:
2 large (1lb) cans imported San Marzano tomatoes- whole tomatoes : trust me, it makes a difference
2 small cans tomato paste
handful of Basil
2/3 cloves of garlic
Olive oil, salt, peperoncino flakes (crushed red pepper flakes)
First, chop the garlic and toss it into a large pot, cover with three turns of olive oil ( roughly enough to coat the bottom of the pot) and let it start to brown.
Next, take your cans of tomatoes and throw them into the blender: yes, the blender. Honestly, a food mill is great and all but the blender is WAY easier, and who really uses a food mill anymore anyways?? Once you've blended the tomatoes into a puree, pour into the pot with the garlic. After that, add both cans of tomato paste.
Once you've gotten both cans of tomatoes into the pot along with the tomato paste, add water. Save one of your small paste cans and add four "cans" of water to the pot. When you stir, the consistency should be a bit liquidy, not necessarily thick. At this point, you can add salt - I guess a tablespoon, though when you eyeball this it's hard to get an exact measurement...... I grew up eyeballing most of this, so forgive me if exact measurements are lacking.
After that, add the basil leaves and a couple shakes of crushed red pepper- not too much, but maybe 20 or so flakes.
Then, let it cook for 1 1/2 hrs to 2 hrs. If it starts to thicken up too much, add a little water; no big deal.
And there it is !