Friday, March 13, 2009
#1. Olive oil. What kind do you prefer to use?
Well, first off, I use olive oil almost exclusively; I only have other oils (ie, vegetable oils like Wess0n) for a few recipes I don't want to mess with. So, I usually buy the biggest cheap container of EVOO. I prefer the "light" ones--but in this case light is referring to flavor, not calories, so don't be fooled. I like Colavita best but it is often too pricey and we use a ton so I go for cheap instead.
#2. Meatballs. Do you make them from scratch, buy premade cooked or buy premade frozen?
We are lucky to have a great butcher near us who has an awesome deal on frozen meatballs that are as good as anything I've ever made. They sell the bag, a humongous vat of red sauce and a bag of rolls for parties, or just the meatballs in a bag. I almost always have a bag in the freezer so I can throw a few in the oven if we're having spaghetti.
#3. Do you use napkins at home? Paper or cloth?
On a "green" kick, I try to use cloth. But realistically, we end up using paper a lot. We need them anyway for the preschooler's lunchboxes and then when too many spills in too few meals wipes us out of all our cloth napkins, it's on to paper.
#4. Share a recipe for a white sauce.
VALMG was looking for a good Alfredo sauce. This one is (supposedly) the original, and original or not, it is a total winner. This will not score you any points in bikini season, but it comes from--you guessed it!--my cookbook of the winter, The Splendid Table's How to Eat Supper. I made a slightly modified version of it for some leftover noodles and ... oh my. The story behind it is excellent, so I continue to refer you to the book, but I will skip to the white sauce and take it you know how to boil your own pasta to al dente.
The True Fettuccine Alfredo (abridged)
1 lb imported fettuccine
6 Tbs butter
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 - 2 cups fresh grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (I used the Trader Joe's in the bag)
salt & pepper
When your pasta is boiling, put the butter in a straight-sided 12-inch saute pan and place it over medium heat. Melt the butter, taking care not to let it color. Set the pan aside until the pasta is done.
Once the pasta is draining, reheat the butter over medium high heat. Turn the pasta and the cream in to the saute pan and toss to thoroughly coat the noodles. Continue to toss the pasta for 2 to 3 minutes so the cream can permeate the pasta. Ther should be very little cream in the bottom of the pan.
Finally toss in the cheese, starting with 1 1/2 cups and adding more to taste. Toss for 20 seconds. Season the pasta to taste with salt and fresh-ground black pepper. Immediately turn it into a serving bowl and serve it hot.
(Serves 3-4 as a main dish, 6-8 as a first course; eat right away.)