Something I love about time off from work is that it allows me to get back to where I belong: the kitchen. I simply love love love to cook. Sometimes if I am stressed or stuck on a problem, I bake a pie and voila! The answer comes to me!
One of the reasons I love Los Angeles is that it has great farmer’s markets. There you can purchase cheap flowers, great ethnic food as well as stalk celebrities. And don’t forget the produce. The produce is to die for! So fresh! So organic! Sooo much better than what you might find at your average grocery store chain. Today, I enjoyed an especially delectable banana from a small independent organic farm.
After such a delicious breakfast, I was not very hungry for lunch. I decided to have a small snack of salami, hummus, pita chips and cheese. There are so many wonderful cheese and charcuterie shops in Los Angeles – if I tried to list them all we would be here all night! Today I enjoyed a very flavorful Genoa salami that I had imported direct from Italy. I also enjoyed a very fine Brie from my local cheese shop as well as a very robust hummus that I discovered a new Mediterranean store in Malibu, which is only 30 miles from where I live. I also had some of my very special homemade pita chips. Those are so special that I cannot even share the recipe here.
By dinner, I was was ready for one of my favorite dishes. Homemade pasta. For pasta, I have discovered that nothing comes even close to the taste of homemade pasta. It may sound daunting, but it only involves a few basic ingredients like
- 1 1/2 cups of unbleached flour
- 1/4 cup semolina flour
- 1 tsp salt in a bowl.
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 2 eggs
The second part of pasta is the most important: the sauce! Sauce can absolutely make or break your pasta experience, and I am here to tell you that sauce should always be homemade. Making it yourself is half the joy of eating at home. Here is a recipe that even the most novice of chefs can follow easily. Please note that you should buy the freshest ingredients possible and that they should always be local and organic.
- In large saucepan over medium heat, saute onion and garlic in olive oil until soft. Stir in tomatoes, tomato paste, water, Italian seasoning, basil, sugar, wine, and crushed red pepper. Reduce heat to low and simmer 3 hours, stirring occasionally. Serve.
After a day of such amazing eating, I know I will get a wonderful night of sleep with absolutely no recurring nightmares about my American Express bill. Good night gourmands!