Wednesday, March 22, 2017



My first thought was to try creating an Italian – Mexican fusion, combining some of popular flavors of each cuisine.  But Patience encouraged me to think carefully about what I wanted to do.  I wanted the main component to be Italian sausage, mushrooms, and onions sautéed together with garlic and basil, classic Italian spices and herbs.  This would be wrapped in a flour enchilada and baked in the oven with an enchilada sauce.  However after the sausage-mushroom enchiladas were prepared I decided to  replace the enchilada sauce with diced tomatoes with garlic and basil, creating my own version of a Mexican Manicotti, or an Italian Enchilada.

Whatever the name, it was delicious.


1.     Italian sweet sausage, casings removed
2.     White mushrooms, sliced
3.     Onion, chopped
4.     Olive oil
5.     Garlic and fresh basil
6.     Sweet Vermouth or dry red wine
7.     Diced tomatoes
8.     Flour tortilla
9.     Grana Padana cheese


In olive oil over medium high heat cook the sausage, mushrooms, and onions, with the herbs and garlic, stirring frequently until the mushrooms begin to brown.  Add the wine and continue cooking until the wine is cooked off.

Mix the diced tomatoes with salt, pepper, basil, and olive oil.  Add ½ of the tomatoes to a 9x11 baking dish.  Fold the sausage mixture in the tortillas and place in the baking dish.  Cover with the remaining tomatoes and a generous sprinkling of cheese and bake at 350 degrees for about 20-30 minutes.


Patience loved this, and that is all that matters.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Last Minute Pasta for One

Fusilli longhi with assorted tomato sauce

Patience is out, and I was faced with a choice: a Tuna salad sandwich, or pasta for one with a hodgepodge sauce.  After a careful 3 seconds of consideration I chose the pasta.  For today's lunch I made  bruschetta with some Del Monte diced tomatoes and thought what remained could be the basis of good and quick ssuce.  I checked the pantry for some left over uncooked pasta that always seemed to accumulate, and found the perfect amount of long fussilli, a little less than 1/4 lb..

1. Diced tomatoes
2. Pasta
3. Olive oil
4. garlic, chopped onion and celery
5. Basil, Oregano
6. Kalamata olives  chopped
7. Red pepper flakes
8. Sweet Vermouth or dry white wine
9. Padana Grana cheese for grating

Prepare the Sophritto in olive oil - onion, celery, and garlic, then add the tomatoes and cook over low heat.  Add the tomatoes, herbs, seasoning, and cook while waiting for the pasta to cook.  About 5-10 minutes later add the olives and the wine.  Toss well with the pasta and serve with Gran Padana and red wine of choice.

Note - the timing of adding the various ingredients to the sauce is purely arbitrary and when I'm cooking it varies every time, as does the amount.