For this week’s blog I want to present a restaurant dish and give you some variations on how you can simplify it for home cooking.
This post will be in three parts over the next week so you will have plenty of time to plan ahead to make this dish for your next dinner party.
We’ll start with one of the most popular dishes at Café du Soleil:
Linguine with Grilled Shrimp in Garlic Herb Butter.
Let’s start with the fancy restaurant-style presentation. This dish is designed to look like an Italian flag, with red, green and white sauces in stripes. That may seem like a lot to do but it’s not so complicated. I’ll break it down for you and you can decide.
Part 1 – Marinara Sauce
1 can (14.5 oz) plum tomatoes (preferably Italian)
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1T. garlic, chopped
1T. each dried oregano and basil
add a few red pepper flakes to spice it up if you want
1. Sautée the onions and garlic in a couple Tbsps. of olive oil until soft
2. Add the tomatoes and seasonings and a few sprigs of fresh basil
3. Simmer about 30 – 45 minutes plus salt and pepper to taste
4. Pass through a food mill (my preference
for optimum texture) or food processor and puree
Chef’s Secret: I put in a little sugar just to sweeten it up a little, and some tomato paste to give it a little more color and flavor.
Chef’s Secret: I also like to add a little red wine to my marinara – anything leftover from last night’s bottle is fine
Chef’s Secret: I also like to add a little fresh pork to give it a little more body – you could use a small
piece of pork shoulder, or any cut with some meat and some bone to give flavor –
remove it before pureeing and it makes a nice little snack for the cook.
Simpler Method: If you want to use your favorite jarred version that would be a no-brainer way to simplify.
I like to freshen up a jar of commercial sauce by pureeing in a couple fresh plum tomatoes,
and if you’ve got some fresh basil on hand, toss that in too.
So far, so good.
See you again in a few days for Part 2.