Saturday, June 26, 2010

Simple Tomato Sauce

Summer is upon us and the tomatoes are finally plump and sweet. I've been waiting on this moment since early spring, and I was beginning to think they would never be ready for harvest. Now I have an abundance of warm sun kissed tomatoes ready to be enjoyed.

A simple raw tomato sauce tossed with pasta is the perfect weeknight dinner on a hot summer evening when the last thing I want to do is stand over a hot stove.

Simple Tomato Sauce

2 pounds of tomatoes, roughly chopped
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbs olive oil
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

That's a huge head of garlic! I can't get enough garlic. Feel free to use more or less depending on your tastes.

Once the tomatoes, garlic, and basil are chopped put them in a large bowl along with the juices from the tomatoes.
Look at those colors!

Drizzle the olive oil over the tomatoes.
Season with salt and fresh ground black pepper.
Nice...action shot!

With a fork stir to combine. Gently mash the tomato mixture breaking up some of the tomatoes to release their juices.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the sauce to sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes or several hours to merry the flavors. The sauce can be made several hours in advance.

Now would be a good time to pour a glass of white wine. Relax!

 Cook the pasta according to the package instructions, I used corkscrew pasta, but spaghetti or angel hair work great too. Reserve a ladle or two of the pasta water before draining the pasta. Combine the pasta and the tomato sauce adding the pasta water to heat the sauce and loosen the pasta.
Top the pasta with parmesan cheese and more basil and enjoy.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Sour Cream Pound Cake

Believe it or not I have never made pound cake until now. I was inspired to make pound cake after Jennifer whipped one up so quickly a few weeks ago when were visiting, and it was the perfect dessert after dinner...warm pound cake with a crispy outer crust with a dollop of fresh whipped cream.

I really wanted to make Jennifer's pound cake (a Paula Deen recipe) but I didn't have the ingredients. I found another Paula Deen recipe on and decided to give it a try.

Paula Deens's
Grandmother Paula's Sour Cream Pound Cake

2 sticks butter
3 cups sugar
1 cup sour ceam
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 cups all-purpose flour
6 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 325.

Grease and flour a 10 inch tube pan.

Cream the butter and sugar together.
Add the sour cream to the creamed butter and sugar and mix until combined.

Sift together the baking soda and flour.

Add a little flour to the creamed butter and mix to combine before adding an egg and mixing. Continue alternating between the flour and the eggs.
Once all the flour and eggs have been combined stir in the vanilla.

Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes.
Let cool on rack for 10 minutes before removing the cake from the pan.

A dusting of confectioners sugar makes this pound cake perfect.