Sunday, November 4, 2012

It's Fall at my House and Having a Nice Italian Dinner with Sauce made from my own Homegrown Tomatoes and Herbs! Salad sourced in my November Garden, and French Bread

There is a bit of a bite to the air these days and the leaves have been falling and there i an orange glow. As we thought turning back the clocks this weekend, my husband and I got into the mood for a good old fashion Italian Dinner at our house. 
 This is a photo of my dining room and I have it set up with a Fall theme with oodles of candles and the last of the Hydrangeas and some other color from the yard in a vase. I think it is important to set your table with linen and use your nice things at home even for a simple little Italian dinner. It feels special, homey, and wonderful. So much better than any restaurant on a saturday Night.

 I made a Sauce of my own pureed and frozen tomatoes from this summer by sautéing 1 large chopped onion, my own dehydrated zucchini (1/2 c.), sun dried tomatoes (1/4 c.) in a nice big heavy pan, then I sautéed  1 lb. ground turkey to that. I add my defrosted pureed tomatoes about 7-8 cups, a hand full of chopped fresh herbs still growing in the garden (Rosemary, Chives, and Parsley), a big dollop of Marsala Wine, a chopped carrot for sweetness, 2 Tbsp of Honey from my hives. I then cook the whole thing all day long on a low heat with the cover on. If the sauce is a bit thin add a can of tomato paste.

I cooked my sauce for about 7-8 hours. When it was time for dinner, I couldn't find any Spagetti! How can that be? No spagetti in the house, I am slipping. But I found some wonderful Bow Ties,  I cooked them in salted water for 12 minutes and then transfered to a bowl where I add, salt, pepper, olive oil, and chopped parsley.


 I serve everything with a big glass of wonderful red wine (I like a nice Cabernet Savingon), a salad made with red leaf lettuce still growing in my garden and Honey Vinegarette using  3/4 c.red wine vinegar,  1 c. olive oil,  1/2 c. honey from my hives vinegarette I pulled together with a couple tbsp. chopped fresh herbs. I made my own french bread  made with some marsala wine as well. 

This was a marvelous dinner at home that you can replicate with store bought materials but I think it is nice to see how someone does it with items preserved from their summer garden. Frozen Tomatoes, Dehydrated Zuchinni, and Sun Dried Tomatoes were all sourced form my garden and preserved by me.  You can buy good quality french bread but it is so easy and delicious to make your own and really makes the meal special. This little touch along a home made dressing can make the difference between so so dinner and really gourmet in that simple but delicious way. 

Because we haven't had a freeze here yet on Cape Ann, I still have plenty of fresh herbs and lettuce in my garden and I am enjoying it with a bittersweet feeling because I know that any day now we could have a hard freeze and my lovely last vestiges of my summer garden will be gone. Although I have sometimes had some things until late Nov or Dec some years, you just never know.

Thank-you for joining my table this Fall for a lovely Italian Dinner. Cheers as we click our big glasses of red wine!

Kind Regards, 
Melissa