Tonight, we couldn’t figure out if we wanted Puttanesca Sauce with our pasta or Amatriciana Sauce. J wanted only Amatriciana, L wanted Puttanesca, S didn’t care, and I was willing to make both and try a new recipe and freeze the leftovers.
I had decided on Puttanesca earlier in the week, without thinking about a recipe. Then, in trying to minimize a pile of old magazines, I started flipping through an old Food & Wine, with an Italian focus from September, 2007. And, there it was, a recipe for classic marinara, with variations for Puttanesca, Amatriciana and Vodka sauces. Perfect and the timing was right! I was a bit disorganized while cooking and my mise-en-place wasn’t very well place-d, so no photos of the preparations. But, suffice it to say, that S, L & I tried both sauces. J only tried the Amatriciana (and had 2 big portions). Favorites were difficult to choose, but L & S liked the Puttanesca better and I like the Amatriciana better. It was very close, both were excellent. I’m glad that issue of Food & Wine was in the pile!
For dessert, we had an old standby. From the Zap It! section of an old Everyday Food Magazine (I found the link on their PBS web-site, but not on Martha Stewart’s), we’ve been making poached pears for several years. It literally takes about 10 minutes prep and 10 minutes to cook, because you make these poached pears in the microwave. And, the sauce is made by melting vanilla ice cream in the liquid that is generated by the pears, butter and brown sugar while they are cooking.
We didn’t add the vanilla ice cream tonight (a little too rich after all that pasta). You would never know that the pears are made in the microwave, and because good vanilla ice creams are basically Creme Anglaise, the sauce seems pretty decadent. Even without the ice cream, the sauce is just the pear juice that is released during the cooking, a little butter and brown sugar. Can’t go wrong there.
Mmmm. I feel foodier tonight than I did last night, even with the microwave portion of the meal.