drew barrymore bucatini: fresh homemade pasta sauce.

drew barrymore taught me how to make fresh tomato sauce.

i have watched this clip of her making her pasta sauce with ellen about 500 times.

i sometimes just put that video on when i can't think of anything to watch on youtube..which is kinda strange i guess haha. even with the vast expanse that is the world wide web, i still insist on watching this very clip over and over. it just makes me happy! if ya know anything about me its that i love ellen. soo much. and i love drew. soo much. put 'em together and i am entertained for life.

i just love drew. she is so enjoyable. and it is a total miracle of the universe that i had the opportunity to meet her and even have dinner with her with some friends after her book tour. my brain still explodes when i think about that night and the fact that my friend lauren casually called me the day before saying "so heyyy, would you wanna meet drew tomorrow?" ......"esssssssCuuuUSE ME?!?!?! whatchu just say??" i died. 

i've loved her since the E.T. days, and being around her in person super solidified all the reasons why i love her. she was so cool and down to earth.  just by coincidence, she had some sort of pasta with tomato sauce at dinner that night. i remember she ate her noodles all fancy by twirling the fork into her spoon. classy broad.

anyhoo, her method of homemade pasta sauce that she made on ellen is my go-to when i have a bunch of fresh cherry tomatoes around. they are always better in the summertime when they're in season locally, but at other times of year i'll use grape tomatoes if cherries aren't available. 

cherry tomatoes are better to use for sauce because they're juicier, more plump, with a thinner skin. grape tomatoes seem to have a thicker skin that doesn't break down as well as the cherries do, but they'll still do the trick.

i've made this many times and i've figured out how i like it the best. i add chopped up zucchini and a serrano pepper. and extra olive oil in the sauce. the combination of everything is perfectly juicy, earthy, and pleasantly spicy with a rich texture.

and "fresh basil every 5 minutes," as drew says. haha. 

i roasted the whole head of garlic in the oven just to have around. you could use fresh garlic cloves in the sauce, but roasted garlic smells amahhhzing and its so rich, sweet and flavorful.

just slice the cherry tomatoes in half and you're on your way to delicious fresh tomato sauce.

for the zucchini, i slice it into rounds and then stack some of them to chop it easily into bits.

with a good amount of olive oil, fresh or roasted garlic, juicy cherry tomatoes, minced serrano, chopped zucchini, fresh basil, and salt, you can have a rich & flavorful pasta sauce ready in about 20 minutes.

tomato sauce-quinnsplace_9.jpg

drew recommends fresh bucatini, which are plump spaghetti noodles. i got this pack when i was at eataly in new york city, and its great. i really love the texture of bucatini - its just a bit of a better chew than regular spaghetti noodles.

after the pasta is cooked, i toss it with olive oil so it doesn't stick together. then lay on the tomato sauce and some extra basil leaves. 

this version of the sauce is vegan - but it would also be super tasty with some sort of flavorful ground beef or spicy sausage.

i always think its exciting when you can make things from scratch and adjust the ingredients as you like. i'd never actually made my own tomato sauce until drew showed us all how. ya never know where you're going to learn a new life skill!

i shall now refer to this as my drew b. bucatini. even though it doesn't have to be made with bucatini...  drew b. bucatini just sounds right. 

Homemade Tomato Pasta Sauce

Makes about 2 cups of tomato sauce

Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 24 oz. cherry tomatoes (mostly red - some green & yellow are ok)
  • 3-5 TB. olive oil
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 6 cloves roasted garlic*, or 4 raw garlic cloves (you can roast the garlic days in advance - store in airtight container in fridge)
  • 1 serrano pepper, seeded & minced
  • 1/2 a large zucchini, chopped into bits
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup fresh chopped basil
  • fresh bucatini pasta (1 inch diameter bunch)

Instructions-

* To roast the head of garlic, heat oven to 375 degrees F. Cut 1/4 inch off the top, remove most of the paper covering and discard. Pour a teaspoon of olive oil on the cloves to soak (about 5 minutes). Place in a baking dish or oven safe dish covered in foil. Roast in the oven for 40 minutes or until golden brown on top.

Wash all the veggies and slice the tomatoes in half. Chop the serrano pepper and zucchini. 

In a large pan, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil on medium/low heat and add the garlic. If using roasted garlic, mash it up in the olive oil with a wooden spoon. If using fresh garlic, toss it in the olive oil until the garlic begins to brown.

Add all the cherry tomatoes and increase heat to medium. Let all the juices from the tomatoes heat and simmer together for about ten minutes, stirring frequently. Add the chopped zucchini, serrano pepper, salt & pepper, and some fresh basil. Stir to combine.

If you're having pasta, at this point begin boiling a large pot of water. Cook your pasta as desired and strain the water. Return the noodles to the pot and drizzle a couple tablespoons of olive oil on the cooked pasta. Gently toss the noodles. 

Continue to let the tomatoes simmer on medium/low heat for about ten more minutes, until the sauce begins to thicken. Add extra handfuls of fresh chopped basil every few minutes and stir into the sauce. 

Serve your desired amount of bucatini with the fresh tomato sauce while its hot. Top with extra basil and freshly grated parmesan cheese if desired. 

enjoy with a glass of red wine and garlic bread for best results :)


^^^ brain explosion happening in this moment. my face couldn't cheese any cheesier. clearly she's my best friend in my wildest dreams.

you da best, drew b.!

 

xoxo

 

qp

carrot ginger parsnip soup with crispy shallots, bacon & goat cheese.

long title soup = extra flavor soup!

this recipe is sort of out of my comfort zone in a few ways...but i have enjoyed it so much! 

i never really fancy just a plain ol' bowl of liquidy soup. i always want some sort of texture or something to chew on. enter crispy shallots, bacon crumbles and chives. and goat cheese for extra creamy flavor.

part 2 of dancing a wee bit outside of my comfort zone is using yellow curry powder in this soup! i weirdly don't really enjoy the flavor or smell of indian curries. i can see why people think its warm and flavorful and delicious, but its just not my cup of tea somehow. i want to like it. in the same way i want to like seafood, but i just don't. wahh.

but! i had some sort of soup last fall with just a touch of curry powder in it, and i felt it made sense. it gave the soup a little something extra without being overpoweringly curry-like. and it worked fabulously in this carrot ginger soup. woo! baby steps, y'all.

um, also... i made this soup way back in octoberrrrrr. the original photos i took were in much bigger bowls and it just didn't make sense at all. you'd nevvver eat that amount of soup in one sitting. it just took me ages to get around to getting much shallower bowls. actually, these are plates, haha! but its the perfect serving size for a rich soup like this.

the good news about my procrastination here is that i know that this soup recipe freezes very well and you can thaw it out months later and jazz it up with all the toppings!

the toppings are really where its at for me. the crispy shallots not only make the kitchen smell AmAhhHhhZiNg, but they taste amahzing with the rich carrot parsnip ginger combo. bacon, because...bacon. chives because, greenery. & the goat cheese is definitely key.

so really...don't skip the goat cheese or the crispy shallots.

they're what make this soup worth soupin'!

how beautiful is the soup with the curry powder and cayenne! ooooh that colouuuuur. ^^^

right now i'm on the mend from my 2nd gum grafts surgery, cuz i'm a g-ma at heart and i prefer walnuts in my brownies and i've always truly loved werther's originals, raisins, and grape nuts. see also: genetics & having had braces a long time and stuff. anyhoo, dental surgeries ain't the most fun.

and this soup has really saved me the last couple days. i can only have verrrrry soft foods for a little while, and apple sauce gets old v v fast. i've been having some of this soup with my go-to goat cheese buy, the TJ's goat cheese trio! specifically, the garlic & herb goat cheese. i heat up some soup in a pan and melt some of the garlic herb goat cheese and stir it in.  i can't have any crunchy delicious toppings right now, but i've been seriously delighted in the deliciousness that is the garlic herb goat cheese + carrot ginger parsnip soup. i think its a lot of sage in the TJ's herby goat cheese, and it REEEEALLY hits the spot. so much flavor. i don't even know who i am getting so freaking excited about soup. 

Carrot, Ginger, & Parsnip Soup with Crispy Shallots, Bacon & Goat Cheese

Time: 45 minutes (Roasting can be done in advance to save time)

Yields about 6 cups of soup

Ingredients:

For the Soup-

  • 1.5 pounds organic carrots, washed and peeled (about 8 medium/large carrots)
  • 2 medium parsnips, washed and peeled
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 TB. olive oil
  • 1 cup 2% milk, or plain milk alternative
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 TB. white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 4" knob of ginger (about 1/3 cup chopped), peeled and chopped, + extra for zesting
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 1/2 tsp. yellow curry powder
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • chopped chives, for topping

For Crispy Shallots:

  • 1 shallot clove, sliced into rings
  • 1 TB. olive oil
  • 2 TB. flour + pinch of black pepper

Bacon!:

  • 4-6 slices of bacon, cooked and chopped into bits

Goat Cheese drizzle:

  • 4 TB. goat cheese
  • 2 TB. olive oil
  • 4 TB. water
  • OR: heat the amount of soup you want to serve and melt/stir in your desired amount of goat cheese

Instructions-

For Soup:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Wash, peel, and halve the carrots and parsnips. Line a baking sheet with tin foil and a drizzle of olive oil. Spread the carrots and parsnips around the pan. Add another light drizzle of olive oil over the top and season with salt.

Roast the carrots & parsnips for 30 minutes, removing from the oven and flipping them over half way through the roast.  Let them cool about 5 minutes before adding to the food processor.

***While veggies are roasting, cook & chop the bacon, and make the crispy shallots.

Place slightly cooled roasted carrots and parsnips in a large food processor. Add vegetable broth, olive oil, milk, and half the amount of water (2 cups). Run food processor on high speed until the veggies become smooth.

Add vinegar, salt, chopped ginger, garlic clove, curry powder, and cayenne. Run food processor until everything looks smooth and incorporated.

The food processor will be very full at this point. Transfer the soup to a large pan or stock pot on medium/low heat. Add the other 2 cups of water and stir well. 

***For Crispy Shallots:

Heat a small pan to medium/low heat with a TB of olive oil. Peel the exterior off the shallot and discard. Slice the shallot into 1/8 inch thick rings. Add 2 TB of flour and some cracked black pepper to a small bowl. While the shallots are still freshly chopped and wet, coat the rings in the flour/pepper mixture. Add the rings to the heated olive oil. Let them crisp on one side for about 2-3 minutes, then carefully flip to the other side to crisp. They are done when they are browned. Be careful to not let them blacken. Remove from the pan with a fork and let them drain on a paper towel. 

For best results, add a hearty drizzle of goat cheese to the bottom of the soup bowl. Spoon the desired amount of hot carrot soup into the bowl. Top with plenty of goat cheese drizzle, bacon crumbles, crispy shallot rings, and fresh chives. Enjoy!

 

 

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brown butter brownies.

hellooooo, lovvaaaah.

sometimes ya just need a damn brownie. ya feel me?

this recipe yields a pretty small amount of brownies, for when you "just need a damn brownie," but don't necessarily need/want to have like 30 brownies sitting around the kitchen taunting you for the next few days.

with browned buttah, too! mmmm. this extra fragrant butter smells like love or magic or holidays or all of the above.

pete got me two gorgeous copper pans for christmas. see below. prettiest ever.

you can see all the toasty brown butter flecks down in there preparing for a delicious (but short) life as an extra chocolatey brownieeeeeeee.

i pretty much made these babes as valentine's day gift to myself hahah. i think pete has had like half a bite of one...soo, good thing for small batch recipes.

we have a ton of various seattle chocolate bars leftover from christmas, and i'm finding the best uses for them besides just gobbling them up straight outta the wrapper.

and you can make these in one bowl! easy to make and to clean up. 

yum. just YUM!  ^^^ this brownie stack looks kinda like a lil robot, no?

it was reeeally hard for me to not add walnuts to these, because i just freaking love walnuts in brownies and extra texture in general. but i kept em pure & chocolatey for all ye walnut haters.

i used a mix of chopped dark chocolate with cocoa powder, for some extra deep chocolatey flavors, extra moisture (ew! - someone plz develop a new word to describe food with the same meaning..please oh pleease) and to avoid that bitter taste from using a lot of cocoa powder.

i also used quite a bit less sugar than most brownie recipes call for, and i did a combination of regular granulated sugar with coconut sugar. i just think coconut sugar yields a deeper different kind of sweetness than wHhhhite sug.

and here comes the powdered sug. totally optional, but desirable.

speaking of sug(e) & valentine's day things, we ended up getting thai food take-out and watching straight outta compton on valentine's day. i mean, soo romantiQ. i really enjoyed that movie. i found it super interesting & wanna watch it again.

and then i ate these brownies.

i just need you sometimes, brownies. fresh & warm or cooled. with a cold glass of milk. thanks a million.

Brown Butter Brownies

Makes a small batch of about 9-12 brownies

Total time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted & browned
  • 1 TB vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 oz. dark chocolate, chopped (I used Seattle Chocolates Extreme Dark Truffle Bar)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

Instructions-

To brown the butter, heat butter in a pan with light colored bottom on medium heat. Whisk constantly until butter is lightly bubbling and developing small brown flecks on the bottom of the pan. Once you have brown flecks and the butter is slightly foamy, remove from heat and pour into a small bowl. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  In a large bowl or stand mixer, mix the brown butter, oil, and sugars until combined and creamy. Add eggs and vanilla and whisk just until incorporated, but do not over-whisk.

Add the dry ingredients and mix gently just until everything is incorporated. Fold in the chopped chocolate.

This recipe makes a very small batch of brownies; I used an 8x4 loaf pan sprayed and lined with parchment paper. If you double the recipe, you can use a standard 9x13 baking pan. You will need to adjust your bake time, too. Use the toothpick test and do not over-bake.

Spray and line the pan with parchment paper. Pour the brownie batter into the parchment, shaking the batter into the corners and spreading evenly with a spatula.

Place the pan onto a flat baking sheet (to prevent burnt bottoms) and bake the brownies in the oven for 20 minutes. After a toothpick test, there should still be a slight bit of brownie on the toothpick if you want them to be extra fudgy and moist in the center. Bake a few minutes longer if you like a crispier brownie.

Let cool at least 5 minutes before cutting into squares. I know that's the hard part, but you want them to be firm. Or you can just go at it while its still real hot with a fork. That happens sometimes, too.

{Recipe slightly adapted from Cafe Delites}

 

 

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