Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Mama Mia-That's Amore!!!

No checkered table cloths, no company for dinner. But I did have these lovely flowers my friend Maryrose brought to me in the mountains the other day. They were pretty in a "growler" instead of a vase, and they are still pretty today in my kitchen!
I have belonged to an online cooking club for about 13 or more years now, called Brunch Bunch Kitchen, or BBK for short. We are a group of ladies from all over the United States who love to cook. We are spread far and wide, and have as many differences among us as there are miles between us. Most of us have met one another in person over the years, and have been friends for so long now that we not only discuss food, and how to cook, but we have shared our lives. One of our ladies, Jeanne, is Italian. She has shared so many wonderful recipes over the years. Last week she shared one of her Mama's favorites for sauce. And also, a broccoli dish that is so simple, yet oh so tasty. I made both today! I was alone for dinner. Mr. Sweet Life had a softball game, son Drew had church, so I dined alone. No checkered table cloth. No candles casting a soft glow over a dark room. And no one singing...When the moon hits your eye, like a big pizza pie...that's amore.........But it was gooooood! Thank you Jeanne. And thank Mama for sharing!
Here is the sauce that simmered all afternoon.
Here is the steamed broccoli that was drained and then chopped before tossing in melted butter, and bread crumbs mixed with parmesan cheese.
Here comes the bread crumbs and parmesan cheese, going into the broccoli that has just been coated with melted butter. And be sure to use the good stuff, not that powdered cheese in a can!!! Don't forget the course salt at this point. No pepper. Just a nice generous pinch of course salt.
Mmmmmm, it was sooooo good!
And here goes the sauce over the cooked pasta. Next time I will add Italian sausages and peppers.
Buon Appetito!
For Sauce:
Saute onion and generous amount of fresh garlic in olive oil. Add 1 pound lean ground beef and small amount of water, and brown evenly. Add two large cans crushed, good quality tomatoes, and one small can paste. To that, add three cans water from paste can. Season with course salt, and red pepper flakes to taste for heat. Add about 15 leaves fresh basil, chopped. Let simmer several hours.
For Broccoli:
Steam about 2 large broccoli crowns until barely fork tender. Discard water, and rough chop broccoli. Melt about 3 T butter in pan. Add broccoli back to pan. To this add 1/3 cup bread crumbs, and 1/4 cup good quality shredded parmesan cheese, and generous pinch of course salt. NO pepper. I used more broccoli, and so adjusted the amounts of other ingredients. DELISH!!
Kitchen was cleaned. Mr. Sweet Life's dinner plate was in the fridge waiting for him, when suddenly several cars were arriving at our house.....and lo and behold, the softball team came to our house to celebrate their victory!
Here is Brian, Drew's buddy, coming at me with a sweaty hug! : )
And then one by one, they all appeared, cooler in tow, to have some liquid refreshment, and talk about their win.
And the stories they are on our back patio, you can only see half of them from where I took this picture from inside the house.
And lastly, but not leastly, and having nothing whatsoever to do with this post, is a picture of the last of my watermelon harvest. A definite fruit to plant in next year's garden.
Signing off from the kitchen.
Bon Appetit!


Kelly said...

First off, oh my goodness thats a lot of melons!

Second, that broccoli looks and sounds delicious... I must make it soon!

Third, thanks for the good luck wishes on my post!

Janene said...

Mmmmm! For the pasta and broccoli and the sweet looking watermelon!
Thank you so much for the recipes...I am always looking for new things to make and my family loves spaghetti, so this will be a treat.
Have a great week!

Katie said...

That looks soooo good, and I'm so hungry! There goes that 6 pounds ;) What a neat thing, joining an online cooking club!!!

Lauri said...

I'm so glad you included the recipes. Sounds yummy! And I want to know if you're tired of watermelons yet or if they are still delicious to you? That is A LOT of watermelon!

Helen said...

I have had a recipe for years from an Italian Mama also for bracciole - it is SO easy and great for a crowd! Take a flank steak - or two - and fill it with grated parmesan cheese and lots of minced garlic - roll it and tie with kitchen twine. Put 2 or 3 or 4 cans of good crushed tomatoes in the pot. Add the bracciole and any other meat you want - Italian sausages, chicken, pork chops - and cook for 3 to 4 hours. I often remove the chicken and sausage after an hour or so. To serve slice the bracciole and serve with a side of penne with the sauce and a platter of the meats. It is always a BIG hit.

Maryrose said...

Yummy, sounds good... I will "study" those recipes later. Flowers look good... but all I can say about that vase is it ain't no growler ;) Loved your post.

Kristi said...

Yum, yum, yummy! I'll have to try these soon!

That is a LOT of watermelon! Need anyone to take those off your hands?

deb said...

I will be making that brocolli for sure, it looks yummy!!!
throw one or 2 of those melons over here, I got NONE this year, and only ONE pumpkin!

Genn said...

Wow, that is a lot of melons! And I got two of them too! Thanks!

That dinner does look so good. Jake said it was delicous. I asked why he didn't bring any home to me!!

Looks like the sball team had a fun victory celebrations at your house.