Sunday Sauce Again

I have a dear friend in the hospital with baby number two and I promised to make this amazing Sunday Sauce from Wegman’s for her and her family to have when she comes home.  It’s a hearty and nutritious sauce that gets its flavor from seared meats, sauteed garlic and onions and 5 hours of slow simmering.  I made good on my promise today and took some pictures along the way.  The recipe at the bottom makes enough sauce to feed an army, so I decided to cut it in half to make it a more manageable delivery for my friend.  There’s still plenty for several meals, however, and the good news is, it’s excellent even after freezing.

1/4 cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
1 pkg (about 1 1/2 lbs) boneless country spare ribs
6 links Italian Classics Hot Italian Pork Sausage
2 pkgs (8 oz each) Food You Feel Good About Cleaned & Cut Chopped Onions (4 cups)
8 Tbsp (20 cloves) minced Food You Feel Good About Peeled Garlic
2 cans (6 oz each) Tomato Paste
4 cups water
6 cans (28 oz each) Italian Classics Coarse Ground Tomatoes
4 Tbsp dried basil
14 Homemade Meatballs (see related recipe), cooked
Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat olive oil in large braising pan on MEDIUM-HIGH; add ribs and sausage. Cook, turning, 2-5 min, until meats are browned on all sides. Transfer meats to stockpot; set aside.
  2. Reduce heat to LOW. Add onions and garlic to braising pan; cook, stirring, 10 min, until veggies are translucent.
  3. Raise heat to MEDIUM; add tomato paste. Cook, stirring, 3-4 min, until paste just begins to brown. Add water, stirring to loosen browned bits on bottom of pan. Bring to simmer.
  4. Transfer tomato paste/water mixture to stockpot. Stir in canned tomatoes and basil. Bring to simmer on MEDIUM. Reduce heat to LOW. Cook, stirring occasionally, 5 hours. Add cooked meatballs. Cook, stirring occasionally, 1 hour.
  5. Carefully transfer meats to clean serving platter; cut meats into manageable pieces. Transfer sauce to serving bowl.
Chef Tip(s):
To get every bit of goodness from cans of tomato and tomato paste, rinse them with water and add that liquid to your sauce.

Check out my Sunday Sauce post from July 7, 2011

Clam, Chard, and Bacon Pizza

We made this delicious pizza recently and I’m quite pleased to see that it looks very much like the photo in bon apppetit where we got the recipe.  This is my photo below.  Click here to see theirs.  When you make this dish, definitely use the cast iron skillet preparation for the most amazing crust you can imagine!


  • All-purpose flour (for dusting)
  • 1 1-pound store-bought pizza dough
  • 1 10-ounce can whole baby clams
  • 2 slices thick-cut bacon (2 ounces), cut into 1″-wide pieces
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallot
  • 1 1-pound bunch Swiss chard, center stalks removed, leaves torn
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into 1/2″ cubes
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon yellow cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon good-quality extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan


  • Preheat oven to 500°. Fill a large bowl with boiling water. Place a baking sheet over; dust with flour. Place dough on baking sheet; cover loosely with plastic wrap and let sit for 10 minutes to soften. Flip dough; cover and let sit 10 minutes longer.
  • Meanwhile, drain clams, reserving liquid. Cook bacon in a 12″ cast-iron skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, 4–5 minutes. Transfer bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. Add garlic and shallot to drippings in skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in chard and 1/2 cup reserved clam liquid and cook, stirring, until chard is just wilted, about 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in butter, vinegar, and as many clams as you’d like. Transfer mixture to a medium bowl.
  • Wipe out skillet and heat over medium-high heat until very hot. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to a 12″ round. Sprinkle skillet with cornmeal and transfer dough to skillet. Brush top of dough with oil. Cook, shaking pan occasionally and turning pan to avoid hot spots, until bottom of dough is golden and crispy, 6–8 minutes.
  • Spread chard mixture over dough. Bake until crust is golden and cooked through, 6–8 minutes. Scatter bacon and cheese over; cook just until cheese is melted, 2–3 minutes longer.

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Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

This is one of my favorite times of year when it comes to seasonal cooking, and Native Offerings Farm has hooked us up in the squash department.  I definitely see more of this dish in our Thanksgiving Day future.

This recipe is from the NY Times and it goes really well with a good old fashioned grilled cheese sandwich.


  • 4 pounds butternut squash
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 small onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 5 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Chopped red onion for garnish
  • Chervil leaves for garnish


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Using a large, heavy knife, split the squash in half and scrape out the seeds and discard them. Place the squash halves on a baking sheet, season with salt and pepper and roast until very tender, about 1 hour. Use a spoon to scrape out the flesh; set aside, discarding the skin.
In a large pot set over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion just turns golden, 6 to 7 minutes. Add the stock and squash and cook, uncovered, for 25 minutes. Allow to cool.
Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender or food processor and return it to the pot. Stir in the milk and cream and reheat. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve garnished with red onion and chervil.
4 to 6 servings

Avocado & Lime Coleslaw – Recipe

I made this coleslaw to go along side a Mexican pork dish with a mole sauce and it was a lovely accompaniment.  I used a whole head of cabbage from the share, so there were plenty of leftovers.  They kept very well and I was able to serve them to guests as an horesdorve the next night too.  The avocado gives the dish a delightfully creamy texture, the cilantro and lime really compliment the zingy cabbage flavor and the red onion adds just the right accent for a finishing touch.

Avocado & Lime Coleslaw <CLICK

  • 4 cups chinese cabbage, shredded
  • 2 Tbsp red onion, minced (if desired)
  • 1 cup + 1 Tbsp. cilantro
  • 1/2 avocado
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
  • water to thin dressing as needed
  • salt, pepper

Combine cabbage, red onion and 1 Tbsp of minced cilantro. Set aside.

Combine remaining ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Add water as needed. Toss with cabbage mixture with dressing and let refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.

Nancy J. Parisi’s Famous Beet Soup – Recipe

My friend Nancy sent me this scrumptious recipe for beet soup and I was able to use every bit of my beet supply and some carrots to boot.  As Nancy’s recipe suggests, I also added a potato to give the soup more texture.  This soup has three things going for it.  It’s delicious, it’s packed with iron and, as you can see from my photo below, it’s lovely to look at too.  The rich red color with little flecks of green from the fresh basil make a beautiful presentation.

Nancy is famous in Buffalo for many reasons.  First of all, she knows pretty much everyone.  Also, she’s a talented photographer.  And if that weren’t enough, she’s also been featured in several publications for her now famous annual Red Party and as a featured local chef.  I hope you enjoy her recipe as much as I did!

Beet Soup

This is meant to make several portions for 2, enough for 4, plenty to store for a few days.
Note that there are basics, and this can all be adjusted for ingredients that you have on hand.

– 3-5 beets, scrubbed, peeled, cubed into 1.5” cubes
– 1 bunch of leeks (5 or 6 that are 1.5” in diameter, trimmed at bottom of its little roots, and trimmed off where the green is turning darker – discard first layer of leek, slice ¼” wide, and clean well in a colander). If you don’t have leeks, use onions – red or sweet Vidalia. But truly any onion will do – you want about 2 c of onions but don’t fret if you’re short on onions, you want at least 1 c.
– ¼ c olive oil/butter/cooking oil on hand – or a combination of oil + butter.
– 1 quart prepared organic stock, flavor depending on your taste. Top choice is vegetable stock, second choice is chicken, third is beef. Each imparts a different flavor, all are good.
– Additional, available vegetables to add texture and flavor such as two large carrots, 1 large potato.)
– Fresh or dried basil, to taste, or approximately 1/8 c.
– Salt and pepper to taste.
– Garnish: plain yogurt or sour crème, approximately 2T/serving.

1. In the largest stock pot that you have (for ease of stirring, and stick-blending if you have a stick blender) melt ¼ cup olive oil or any other oil or butter that you have.

2. Add in chopped leeks or onions. Stir and cook until softened, about five minutes. I usually sprinkle a little salt and pepper on the onions.

3. Add in peeled and chopped beets. To facilitate cooking, chop the beets into approximately 1.5” squares. Cover pot to steam, stir occasionally, reducing heat to medium low or low. Slow cookin’ is good cookin’.

5. Add in your additional vegetables if you have them – carrots and potatoes. The carrots add to the sweetness (as will the basic), the potatoes firm up the texture, but are not necessary. In pureed soups anything goes … and is delicious.

6. Cover all and occasionally stir until the beets are very soft – test by sticking a butter knife through one.

7. Add in the stock and simmer for about 10 minutes.

8. Take the stock pot off the burner and let cool for a little bit. I use a stick blender to make this step easier. If you have a regular blender, ladle soup halfway up the blender and make sure that you use a towel over the blender as it’s still warm! Blend and pour back into the stock pot – repeat until all the soup has a velvety texture.

9. Add in finely-chopped fresh, or dried basil.

10. Place stock pot back onto burner and bring up the heat.

11. Add salt and pepper to taste. Soup may be served warm, or chilled first for at least one hour if it’s to be served chilled.

12. Before serving, garnish each serving with a generous dollop of plain yogurt or sour crème.