My favorite trip of all time was visiting Rome. It had been my “bucket list” trip and it exceeded unrealistically high expectations by leaps and bounds. Only better than the food, scenery and people was getting engaged to the love of my life a few doors from the Spanish Steps. To say we ate our way through Italy would be a gross understatement. The pasta, the roman artichokes, the gelato…For now all we can do is sit and wait for 2020 to be over and hopefully we can start exploring again. In the meantime, I dream of the food in Italy and try to recreate some of it. Presenting you with homemade sundried tomatoes alla Sacco.
Ingredients: 1 pound ripe plum tomatoes, seeded and cut in half. Then slice each half into 3 slices. 2 whole, crushed cloves of garlic (just because) Kosher salt Fresh cracked black pepper Good quality EVOO (enough to cover all the goodies once in a jar)
How To: Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees. Put prepared tomatoes onto a wire rack and place rack on baking sheet. Sprinkle salt & pepper over tomatoes. Bake tomatoes for about 4 hours. Remove from oven and let cool. Put tomatoes and garlic in jar, top off with EVOO. Let sit for about a week and then mangia!
The battery on my watch died on March 8, 2020, the day before I was heading to Chicago for our first conference of what was supposed to be a jam packed, busy, great year. It was that evening that my phone rang (setting the stage: it’s a Sunday night, it’s already dark, bags are packed and I’m ready to go) it was senior management, calling everyone on my team, informing us that our conference which was to kick off on Wednesday would be cancelled due to COVID fears. What would follow would be the cancellation of all of our events, travel, gatherings (like everyone else in the world). So, with much more time on my hands, and no travel for the foreseeable future, I took to the kitchen.
I’ll use this blog, which has been dormant for quite a while to share some recipes, pictures and cooking advise.
Let’s start with my abundant bounty of basil. Apparently basil does not love the super hot temperatures of Florida. So my spoiled little plants come in and live in my bright, air conditioned kitchen. Now, before I share my “recipe” know that I never measure, always use whatever good, fresh ingredients I have on hand. That said, here’s how you can make a great pesto.
4 cups of Fresh Basil (to see how to properly harvest your basil, I recommend this link: https://youtu.be/Kn0Y4xoMApU) 1 cup Shredded Parmigiana Cheese 2 cups High quality EVVO 1 Cup Nuts (Pine nuts are preferred if you can find them, but you can use walnuts or pistachios) Garlic (use as much or as little as you like) Salt & Pepper to taste
How to pull this together:
In a food processor blend up garlic and nuts – pulse until very fine
Add basil, cheese, EVOO, salt, pepper – Pulse until consistency is loose, add oil as needed
Taste final product and season with additional salt, pepper or garlic as needed. If mixture is too thick add additional EVOO
I like to use small (4 ounce) mason jars that I freeze. I can pull out just the right amount or you can freeze even smaller portions in ice cube trays and freeze (just pop out what you need)