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Archive for the ‘Recipes For One or More’ Category

Recipe ~ Spicy Marinara

Here is the second marinara recipe I mentioned.  This is a spicy marinara and goes well with chunky pasta like shells, farfalle, fusilli, or gemilli. This one is better served chunky, but as always the flavor remains even if you wish to smooth this out in the blender. This recipe makes four cups.

This one is good also as a base for pizza.  Lots of flavor here!

3 ounces or 86 grams onions, minced
2.7 ounces or 76 grams klamata or black olives, chopped
1 ounce or 26 grams capers, drained and rinsed
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
1 28 ounce can crushed or diced tomatoes (you can use plain or italian seasoned for this recipe)
1 tablespoon dried Italian Seasonings (or 1 teaspoon oregano, 1 teaspoon rosemary, 1 teaspoon thyme)
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Heat EVOO in large sauce pan or sauce pot, until fragrant, add onions and cook 3 minutes. Add olives, capers, red pepper flakes, and italian seasonings, and cook 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Add tomatoes and cook uncovered 20 minutes on med-low heat. Do not cover.

This sauce freezes well.

Recipe ~ Marinara

Yep, this is a real recipe. Not a haiku about marinara, though that might be fun! Not a poem about Italian food, however, if you would like to send me to Italy to write about the food, be my guest!! This is just a recipe that has served me well over the years. Thought I’d share it with the net.

Marinara is a handy thing to have around the kitchen. So much can be done with a basic marinara, from using it as a base for spaghetti and meatballs, to spicing up appetizers, and creating edible nuggets out of leftovers. I make a large batch ~ being single, anything more than “serves one” is a large batch :) ~ then freeze single servings in freezer zip style bags, as the smaller servings thaw quicker than full batches. This is my recipe for basic marinara. It will make four cups.

5 ounces or 140 grams ~ white or yellow onions
3 ounces or 86 grams ~ carrots
2 ounces or 56 grams ~ celery
1 large clove garlic
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
1 32 ounce can of crushed or diced tomatoes with juice (can’t find the big can? That’s okay little cans recycle just as easily),
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

Chop onions. Chop carrots. Chop celery. Chop garlic. The trick for consistent cooking is to make your pieces as close to the same size for each vegetable. If you are planning to “smooth” out your sauce in a blender after cooking, don’t worry about how small you get the pieces, just chop them all to be about the same size.

Heat EVOO in a large pot (I used a 3 qt pot, because it’s all I own ~ very versatile) over medium heat until fragrant (there is nothing better in the kitchen than the scent of warm olive oil, except maybe warm chocolate…). Add onion and cook 10 minutes or until translucent. You may find you need to reduce the heat to keep the edges of the onion from burning. Once onions are cooked, add carrots, celery, salt and pepper, and cook another 10 minutes. Once cooked, add tomatoes and the juice from the can, garlic, and bay leaf. Turn heat to simmer (low) and let simmer for one hour. Do not cover, you want the liquid to thicken. When cooked, remove bay leaf.

From here you can pulse or blend to smooth out the sauce if you prefer smooth over chunky. I like the pieces to be big, but that is just me. This marinara freezes well.

I use this sauce with spaghetti, but it is also good for Italian Open Faced Egg Sandwiches (see below), or a fun little dish is to take stale, or almost stale french/sourdough/italian bread and break into chunks. Put the chunks in an oven proof dish. Pour sauce over bread, and grate cheese over the top. You can use mozzarella, cheddar, romano, asiago, even fontina works well. Set oven to 350 and bake until cheese melts.

As this is a basic sauce, it will take whatever spice you like to add when warming up the sauce. I will post a second recipe for spicy marinara that goes really well with chunky pasta like shells or farfalle.

Italian Open Faced Egg Sandwiches:
1 slice of French or sourdough bread
Basic Marinara Sauce
Fried Egg

Spread sauce to desired thickness (go ahead slather the thing!) on slice of bread. Top with fried egg, salt and pepper to taste.


Day Seven ~ After Raiding My Savings

Day One through Six were stressful days, full of emotion and anxiety.  On Day Seven, after I dug into my savings to buy some groceries, I decided I would take pictures of the first real meal in a long week.  Back to veggies and a little protein ~ and no carbs…for now.

The meal consisted of a Fennel and Beet Salad, Steamed Broccoli, and Crushed Peppercorn Encrusted Sirloin.  Even the prep was fun.  I took my time and documented the process of making the salad.  I live alone and cooking for one, though not as exciting as having company, is still something I like to do.  This meal is the perfect size for one.  Here are the ingredients and their proportions for the Fennel and Beet Salad:

Fennel and Beet Salad:
30 grams or ⅓ cup thin sliced fennel
30 grams or ⅓ cup of cooked and cooled beets
18 grams or ¼ cup thin sliced red onion
1 small blood orange or minneola tangelo, or other small navel orange, peel and pith removed (you can cut up large pieces into bite sized if you like)

¼ teaspoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1.5 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
Sea Salt

Mix salad ingredients together in a bowl. Whisk dressing ingredients together to form vinaigrette and pour over salad ingredients. Mix ingredients to coat. Plate on a separate salad plate and serve, or serve with beef or chicken. You could serve this with fish too, if you like, by substituting the red beets for golden beets. The golden beets are milder and less sweet, and pair well with fish.


The shopping trip was Saturday.  The meal was Sunday.  The long week now over, was most certainly a test, but I don’t know if I passed or failed. I don’t think I fully understood the rules. All I do know, is writing and eating nothing but carbs, does not a happy me make. I have learned many lessons these past nine months, that I am sure others of the legion of underemployed have learned as well. We can’t give up hope, and we can’t give into despair. Perhaps next time the unexpected happens, I may be more prepared. At least I know now who I can call for a good kick in the motivation muscle. Thank you KPF.

Again, thank you for reading,

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