Heavenly Villagio Mini San Marzanos
San Marzano tomatoes are such a treat. More expensive than standard canned tomatoes, they are known for being very sweet. I had never seen fresh San Marzanos until this week, when I found these gorgeous Heavenly Villagio Mini San Marzanos at Central Market. They are bigger than grape tomatoes but smaller than plum tomatoes, in the shape of miniature pears.
While delicious raw, I didn’t find they tasted that different from my favorite cherub tomatoes, but they did have fewer seeds. Cooking the tomatoes definitely brought out the sweetness — I used them sliced on a pizza, and then tried roasting them in the oven with garlic and basil-infused olive oil before tossing with ravioli. I will be seeking these out again when it is time to make panzanella salad in the summer!
San Marzano & Chicken Pizza
Ravioli with Roasted San Marzanos & Garlic
Confession: I love to bake with vegetables. This doesn’t always thrill my kids, but the Cinnamon-Carrot Muffins from Whole Living magazine are a new favorite. I decided to make them for Lauren, my four-year old carrot-lover, but my older daughter gobbled them up too. The muffins are reasonable in terms of sugar, and two cups of grated carrots really boost the health factor. And if you grate the carrots by hand like I did, you will get an unexpected arm workout as a bonus.
Fried Brown Rice with Edamame
Fried Brown Rice with Edamame was a super-easy and quick dinner and made for great leftovers (who doesn’t love leftover Chinese food?). You start with a bag of cooked brown rice and add healthy pre-packed produce like coleslaw mix and shelled edamame. It was literally ready in 5 minutes, so it’s hard to even count this as “cooking”. I found the spice level a bit low, so next time I’ll double the chili-garlic sauce. And spicy shrimp would be a fantastic addition.
Would be bucatini — my new love. I have eaten this variety of pasta in Italian restaurants, but had not seen it in the grocery store until recently. It is part of the new-ish Giada De Laurentiis line at Target, and it is fantastic. It’s like a very thick spaghetti with a hole running through the middle, so you can imagine the delight of my children when they discovered how much of a mess they could create while eating this food. I used this bucatini when trying out my second recipe of 2012 — Allison Fishman’s Linguine Vongole from her book, “You Can Trust a Skinny Cook”. It is a simple and wonderful clam sauce over pasta. You simply cannot go wrong with garlic, olive oil, and white wine. Period.
- New Year’s Day Good Luck Soup
While I am not an overly superstitious person, I do love the southern tradition of eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day to bring good luck and prosperity throughout the year. Every January 1, I attempt a new recipe that incorporates tomatoes, greens, and black-eyed peas. This year’s version was the best to date — a great way to kick off my New Year’s resolution of trying at least one new recipe each week. I started with Ellie Krieger’s Minestrone Soup as the base, but left out the beans and pasta and instead added black-eyed peas and baby spinach. I did not expect my children to do much more than dunk their bread into the soup and perhaps scoop the parmesan off the top, but it turns out that my oldest daughter Samantha may actually be the superstitious one — she picked out those peas to ensure her year was going to be a good one. I think I may like this resolution thing.