Thursday, June 2, 2016

Thursday's Recipes

Happy Thursday everyone! I had to drop in and share with you two awesome recipes I've made recently! They are a must try if you haven't already planned tonight's meal!

First up, Pasta Sauce Raphael. This comes to you from the popular Silver Palate Cookbook. I also mean "popular" as in popular probably to your mothers. This cookbook has been our family's go-to recipe finder for decades, and they are all crowd pleasers! This particular recipe was really good. I originally did it over rigatoni pasta, but think it could also be really delicious over spaghetti squash for a healthier version.

Pasta Sauce Raphael
Serve this over your favorite pasta!

4 pounds ripe meaty tomatoes
2 jars (6 oz each) marinated artichoke hearts
1/2 cup olive oil
2 cups coarsely chopped yellow onions
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 cup dried basil (I used fresh basil)
1/2 tablespoon dried oregano (I used fresh oregano)
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1 small dried red pepper, chopped
3 tablespoons whole black peppercorns (I used 2 tablespoons)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup grated romano cheese

Bring large pot of salted water to a boil. Drop tomatoes into boiling water and scald for 10 seconds. Transfer to a bowl of ice water. Scald all tomatoes, then drain and slip off skins. Cut crosswise into halves, squeeze out seeds and juice, and chop coarsely. Reserve (Note: You can probably use canned diced with juices to replace this step). Drain artichokes and reserve marinade. Heat olive oil in large saucepan and saute onions, garlic, basil, oregano, parsley and dried red pepper over medium heat for 5 minutes. Crush black peppercorns and add them to the onion mixture. Add tomatoes to the sauce, season with about 1 teaspoon salt, and simmer uncovered over medium heat for 1 hour. Add reserved artichoke marinade and simmer for another 30 minutes. Stir in artichokes and continue to simmer until sauce is rich and thick, another 20 minutes or so. Stir in Romano cheese and adjust seasoning.

So yummy!

Second up comes from another favorite cookbook, Cook's Illustrated.  Too many good recipes to count. If you ask Mr. B he knows the best chicken salad recipe comes out of this one! I was looking for a good banana bread recipe to use up some bananas that were in need of some loving. I found the Ultimate Banana Bread recipe, and let me tell you this totally delivers. I've had a lot of banana bread in my day, and this is by far the best yet! Enjoy!!

Ultimate Banana Bread

1 3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 large very ripe bananas
8 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
2 large eggs
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
2 teaspoons sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray loaf pan with nonstick spray. Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt together in large bowl. Place 5 bananas in separate bowl, cover, and microwave until bananas are soft and have released liquid, about 5 minutes (this step had my house smelling sooo good!). Transfer bananas to fine-mesh strainer over medium bowl and allow to drain for 15 minutes (you should have 1/2 to 3/4 cup liquid). Transfer liquid to medium saucepan and cook over medium-high heat until reduced to 1/4 cup, about 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat, stir reduced liquid into bananas, and mash until mostly smooth. Whisk in butter, eggs, brown sugar, and vanilla. Pour banana mixture into dry ingredients and stir until just combined, with some streaks of flour remaining. Scrape batter into pan. *Slice remaining banana diagonally. Layer banana slices on top of loaf in 2 rows, leaving 1 1/2 inch wide space down center to ensure even rise. Sprinkle sugar evenly over loaf (*I only had 5 bananas, so I skipped this step). *Bake 55 to 75 minutes (*I used a narrow loaf pan and only needed to cook mine for just under an hour). Let loaf cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out on wire rack and cool for 1 hour.

What recipes have you made recently that had you really thinking you were Giada?


  1. Yummy!!! That pasta picture has me craving lunch now!

  2. Hi, I just found your blog. I live in the Triangle as well. That pasta looks amazing! Nice choice in dishes- I have the same pattern!