Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Something to Savor

One of my favorite cookbooks that I turn to over and over again is Marguerite Henderson's Savor the Memories. Marguerite is a local Italian cook who started the charming and wonderful gourmet deli, Cucina, in the Avenues. Now she teaches cooking classes from her home (which are really fun!) and writes cookbooks (among her many culinary endeavors).

All the recipes I've tried from Savor the Memories have been absolutely delicious! They have simple ingredients, they're easy to assemble and the flavors are just amazing. It's a must have cookbook! To visit her website, click here.

One of my favorite recipes from Savor the Memories, is Rigatoni with a Creamy Fontina-Sausage Sauce. The name says it all. This dish is sooo good! The sausage sauce bursts with flavor and the combination of al dente rigatoni noodles smothered in a creamy tomato sauce, topped with fontina cheese and baked until bubbly and golden is to die for. I would recommend this dish anytime. It's always a hit!

Here is the yummy sauce made up of tomatoes, sausage, cream and spices.

After it simmers, it's poured over the rigatoni pasta

Chunks of fontina and freshly grated Romano cheese crown the pasta.

And then it's into the oven...

And 20 minutes later, cheesey, wonderful goodness emerges and is ready to be devoured with a nice salad and bottle of wine.

One of my favorite salads to serve with almost any meal, is a simple tossed salad with a chevre vinaigrette. The dressing recipe comes from my sister-in-law and everyone always loves it and asks for the recipe. There isn't an exact, measured recipe, but I can tell you what goes in it and you'll have to experiment and come up with a version that suits your tastes.

Olive Oil
Red Wine Vinegar
Italian seasoning blend
Chevre (creamy goat cheese)
Salt and Pepper
Whisk Olive Oil and Red Wine Vinegar together (a few Tablespoons of each). Add Italian seasoning (1/2 tsp to 1 tsp). Whisk in chevre to thicken (1 Tbs. or so). Add salt and pepper to taste.

*Next time I make this I'll try and measure the ingredients so I can write down something more concrete.
For the Salad

Mixed greens
Toasted pine nuts or sliced almonds
Chunks of Chevre (left over from dressing)
Cucumbers, thinly sliced
Tomatoes, diced small
Avocado, sliced

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