easy tomato butter sauce

hi, sister three here! this is my favorite tomato sauce that utilizes fresh tomatoes. i’ve made this recipe with plum, roma, and grape tomatoes and it’s always tasted delicious! i like to dice my tomatoes instead of just halving them so that they break down easier and i don’t have to mash the sauce as much. blending it is also an option, but i don’t like blending hot liquids. but i recommend that you leave a few spoonfuls of sauce behind when you blend it for extra texture! the garlic gets put in at the end of the sauce so it has time to soften instead of getting crispy and burnt. i hope you try this, enjoy!

serves 1

you will need:

6 tomatoes (your choice), diced

half an onion, diced


3 thinly sliced garlic cloves (can be diced, but i love thinly sliced garlic)

parmesan cheese (optional)

spaghetti (or any other pasta)

  1. heat up about a tablespoon of butter in a super hot pan- you want the butter to melt on it’s own before proceeding to the next step.
  2. toss in the onion and stir. cover the pan and fill up a cup with a tiny bit of water (just a few drops)
  3. after a few minutes, uncover and pour in the water. when your onions are brown and nicely cooked (don’t forget to season!), toss in the diced tomatoes.
  4. after stirring around, toss in the garlic and let the mixture boil/simmer for 20-30 minutes. you want most of the liquid to be gone!
  5. “mash” the sauce with your cooking utensil if you’d like- this allows the pasta to absorb the sauce better.
  6. after seasoning to taste (i recommend adding sugar), toss in as much butter as you’d like. i like a lot to make my sauce creamier, but it’s all up to you.
  7. when the sauce is finished, toss in your parmesan cheese and the pasta! top with more cheese if you’d like. enjoy!



easy and delicious polenta

hi, sister three here! in georgia, it’s been getting SUPER cold, going down to the high 20s in the mornings. dad and i have been at trader joe’s about three times this week because we keep on getting things and something i like to get is their polenta. it’s premade so you can simply sear it off with butter or stir it up for a more grits like polenta and add your stir ins. at first, i tried breaking down the polenta and adding chicken stock, but it just gave it a flavor i really hated. then, i tried water, which worked perfectly and formed the recipe that i’m sharing below. i hope you try it and enjoy!

you will need:


parmesan cheese

salt and pepper

optional: red pepper, onions, spinach, etc. you can use anything!


1. dice up the polenta and put it into the pot along with a little bit of water. the amount of water you add will determine how liquidy your polenta will be, but you can always boil the water away.

2. stir in the parmesan cheese and salt and pepper.

3. put your polenta in a bowl and saute your vegetables, adding a little bit of salt and pepper. keep in mind how salty your polenta is with the cheese when seasoning!

4. once the vegetables are cooked to your liking, toss in your polenta again and stir until it’s all combined. top with parmesan and enjoy!




another nice day in brooklyn

the remains of a fresh pasta dinner on the roof. we bought freshly made spinach pasta noodles from the italian market in chelsea market, fresh little olive, tomatoes, onions, and mushrooms all sauteed together. similarly, with just some olive oil, s&p. love it when that happens.

limeade, instagrammed. I had to do it 🙂

Spaghetti “ajo e ojo”

According to The Classic Italian Cookbook” by Marcella Hazan, which my professor gifted to me last summer, spaghetti ajo e ojo (spaghetti with garlic and oil), is now a “universal favorite, especially among Rome’s chic insomniacs, who depend upon a wee hours’ spaghettata to see them through the night until their early-morning bedtime.” A great cookbook and introduction to Italian cooking, this recipe is easy-peasy but surprisingly pleasant and excellent for those nights that you are starving but without many ingredients. And pasta is usually better simple.

Instead of crushed garlic cloves that are sauteed and then removed, the book recommends  the garlic chopped and left in the oil for a fuller but milder taste, and no bitterness (summarized)

For 4 people:

  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 2 tsp of very finely chopped garlic
  • salt
  • 1 pound spaghetti or spaghettini (I used thin spaghetti, barilla style. classy!)
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  1. Boil a pot of water, and fan out the spaghetti. Note: do not break the spaghetti in half. I’ve been doing that for years, but supposedly it’s not good for the pasta. Make sure to add a bit of olive oil to the water and a bit of salt.
  2. While the pot is boiling, you can go ahead and add 1/2 a cup of olive oil to a small sauce pan. Add the garlic and a bit of salt and allow the flavors to simmer until the garlic is a golden brown (if it burns, it will not be tasty anymore!) Take it off the heat once the color is achieved.
  3. Drain pasta and put in a bowl; add the garlic/oil/salt combination on top. I actually added some fresh spinach and chopped tomatoes to the mix as well, in case you’d like to make this your entree as opposed to an “introduction to a second course.” Then add some ground pepper and parsley, as well as some extra olive oil if necessary, and toss together. No cheese, or extra salt, is really needed.
  4. Eat up

Megan, take notes. Can’t eat on campus forever!

I enjoyed this while double enjoying Glee. God, I love this show. We should get tickets to see them live, ha ha ha.

mushroom ragu and polenta rounds

I had polenta, that had been sitting in fridge for quite sometime. The kind I had was pre-cooked but honestly I think making your own will probably taste much better. Nonethless, I wanted to make something that wasn’t the usual. I didn’t have all the right ingredients, so this is what I threw together.

1. Bake polenta in oven for about 15-20 minutes, at 350 F.

2. While baking, have the following:

  • mushrooms, sliced
  • sweet onion, chopped
  • garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup of diced tomatoes
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup of chicken broth
  • thyme
  • cream or half/half
  • a little bit of marsala wine
  • olive oil

So, I sauteed the garlic and onions first, then the mushrooms in olive oil at medium heat. Then I added the chicken broth after the mushrooms had cooked through, another 2-3 minutes. Then, I add cream, tomatoes, and the wine, as sprinkle salt, pepper, and thyme all over and let it simmer together for 5-7 minutes. Then, I put little piles of the mushroom mixture on each little round of polenta, with some parmesan on top. Very easy, and actually pretty good. I don’t think it was a true-to-form mushroom ragu with polenta, but I tried.

As an afterthought, I hope you two are paying attention to the news. It’s hard to believe what is happening in Egypt right now, do you remember what we saw just a year ago? Keep prayers for the people..

live blogging on the protests in egypt here: http://blogs.aljazeera.net/middle-east/2011/01/28/liveblog-egypts-protests-erupt

pizza pizza pizza!

Today, melody and I made a pizza topped with spinach, caramelized onions, and prosciutto. honestly, I am the worst “dough” person on the face of the planet, but the pizza ended up tasting pretty good, and sister 3 had seconds (being the world’s pickiest eater, this is a VICTORY!)

for the dough, I used the recipe on the back of the Fleischman’s Pizza Yeast packet, which I guess isn’t that great because my dough was way sticky, and in the recipe, it makes no mention of any kind of “rising” which I assume is the pointed of yeast. We started with:

  1. Mixing 1 cup of flour, 3 tbsp of oil, 3/4 tsp salt, 1 1/2 tsp sugar, packet of yeast, and warm, warm tap water. In the step, my water might not have been hot enough, so maybe that what messed it up.
  2. Then, proceed to add at least 3/4 cup of flour, if not more until dough can be kneaded into a ball
  3. Roll it out into circle or rectangle – we chose rectangle because I learned nothing working at domino’s in high school
  4. And we topped it. We used a pre-made sauce (yep, bite me) and then added all the toppings. Easiest thing ever. Finished it out with mozzarella and parmesan.
  5. In addition, we sauteed the onions until they were brown and sweet in olive oil 20 minutes prior to making the dough. Oven should be at 425.

Man, delicious. There are not post-baked pictures of this because we were too hungry. Anyway, we’ve been finished the night with hot apple cider every night, cinnamon sticks and everything. Autumn is the best season for comfort.


The picture will be uploaded soon. This is Sister 3 here! Today me and Michelle made spaghetti. First, we heated the pasta, then we made Michelle’s special orginal recipe for tomato sauce. My favorite part is the onions. They look delicous and the sauce is super thick but good too. Bye for now! Sister 1 might come and say some things later 🙂

Sister 1:

Easy spaghetti sauce ingredients:

2 tomatoes, medium size
half of a large onion
2 cloves of garlic
enough olive oil to cover a medium pot
tomato paste
chicken broth
salt (to taste)
fresh basil
ground pepper (to taste)
oregano (at the end)

Angelhair pasta!

This isn’t a recipe so much an ingredient list; I basically stew onions and garlic in olive oil for about 3 minutes over medium heat, then I add fresh tomatoes and a bit of salt and let them sit for another 5 minutes. Then I add tomato paste and chicken broth and allow it to heat to simmer, before adding in the herbs. I generally just go to the consistency I like – with the tomato paste, I added about half of the 6 oz. can, and then about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of broth, depending on how thick you wanted it. Then I added all the herbs and the pasta. Super easy.

Also, we bought our vegetables from the local farm on the way out to Fayetteville. Sweet Vidalia onions indeed.