BUTTER, TOMATO, AND ONION SAUCE

YIELD
Makes enough for 1 pound dried pasta
TOTAL TIME
Time from start to finish: 50 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 pounds ripe tomatoes, or 3 cups canned whole peeled tomatoes with their juice
  • 1 medium sweet yellow onion
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt

PREPARATION

    1. 1. If using fresh tomatoes, peel them. Coarsely chop the fresh or canned tomatoes. Trim both ends of the onion; peel it and cut it in half lengthwise.
    2. 2. Put the tomatoes, onion, butter, and salt in a 4- to 5-quart saucepan over medium heat. When the tomatoes begin to bubble, lower the heat to a slow but steady simmer. Cook, stirring every 10 to 15 minutes, until the tomatoes are no longer watery and the sauce has reduced, about 45 minutes, depending on the size and shape of the pot. The sauce is done when the butter has separated from the tomatoes and there is no remaining liquid.

Note: When you toss pasta with the sauce, add about 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Recipe Cred: Epicurious

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Marcella Hazan’s Roast Chicken With Lemons

INGREDIENTS

  •  3- to 4-pound chicken
  •  Salt
  •  Black pepper, ground fresh from the mill
  • 2 rather small lemons

PREPARATION

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Wash the chicken thoroughly in cold water, both inside and out. Remove all the bits of fat hanging loose. Let the bird sit for about 10 minutes on a slightly tilted plate to let all the water drain out of it. Pat it thoroughly dry all over with cloth or paper towels.
  3. Sprinkle a generous amount of salt and black pepper on the chicken, rubbing it with your fingers over all its body and into its cavity.
  4. Wash the lemons in cold water and dry them with a towel. Soften each lemon by placing it on a counter and rolling it back and forth as you put firm downward pressure on it with the palm of your hand. Puncture the lemons in at least 20 places each, using a sturdy round toothpick, a trussing needle, a sharp-pointed fork, or similar implement.
  5. Place both lemons in the bird’s cavity. Close up the opening with toothpicks or with trussing needle and string. Close it well, but don’t make an absolutely airtight job of it because the chicken may burst. Run kitchen string from one leg to the other, tying it at both knuckle ends. Leave the legs in their natural position without pulling them tight. If the skin is unbroken, the chicken will puff up as it cooks, and the string serves only to keep the thighs from spreading apart and splitting the skin.
  6. Put the chicken into a roasting pan, breast facing down. Do not add cooking fat of any kind. This bird is self-basting, so you need not fear it will stick to the pan. Place it in the upper third of the preheated oven. After 30 minutes, turn the chicken over to have the breast face up. When turning it, try not to puncture the skin. If kept intact, the chicken will swell like a balloon, which makes for an arresting presentation at the table later. Do not worry too much about it, however, because even if it fails to swell, the flavor will not be affected.
  7. Cook for another 30 to 35 minutes, then turn the oven thermostat up to 400 degrees, and cook for an additional 20 minutes. Calculate between 20 and 25 minutes total cooking time for each pound. There is no need to turn the chicken again.
  8. Whether your bird has puffed up or not, bring it to the table whole and leave the lemons inside until it is carved and opened. The juices that run out are perfectly delicious. Be sure to spoon them over the chicken slices. The lemons will have shriveled up, but they still contain some juice; do not squeeze them, they may squirt.

Recipe Cred: The New York Times

Winter Vegetable Minestrone

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, quartered and very thinly sliced
  • 1 leek, white and pale green parts only, halved lengthwise and sliced 1/4inch thick
  • 1 carrot, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper ( go light here if you don’t like spice)
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 large celery root, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 medium rutabaga, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  •  1 quart vegetable broth
  • One 15-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, drained and crushed by hand
  • One 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 celery rib, thinly sliced
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 cup packed basil leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • Freshly ground pepper

Preparation

  1. In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the onion, leek, carrot and crushed red pepper, season with salt and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until just tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in the celery root, rutabaga and sugar. Add the broth, tomatoes and 1 quart of water and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to moderately low, cover and simmer until the rutabaga is tender, about 15 minutes.
  2. Add the beans, celery rib and garlic and simmer for 5 minutes. Add more water if the soup is too thick. Stir in the basil, cheese and vinegar, season with salt and pepper and serve.

MAKE AHEAD

The minestrone can be prepared through Step 1 and refrigerated for up to 2 days.

Recipe Cred: Alex Guarnaschelli for Food and Wine