Thanks to everyone who entered the drawing for “Bake It In A Cupcake,” by Megan Seling. The winner is Katy Lemmer. I’ll pop it in the mail today.
This week we’ll get off the dessert cart with "Lidia's Favorite Recipes: 100 Foolproof Italian Dishes, from Basic sauces to Irresistible Entrees," by Lidia Matticchio Bastianich and Tanya Bastianich Manuali. (I’m pretty sure I spelled those right. Just don’t ask me to say them out loud.)
The book contains about half recognizable Italian classics, such as Eggplant Parmigiana, Spaghetti and Meatballs and Wedding Soup, right alongside recipes that broaden your horizons, including Tagliatelle With Wild Mushroom Sauce and Spaghetti in Tomato Apple Sauce.
If you are not Katy Lemmer, you are eligible to enter the drawing, send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your NAME, MAILING ADDRESS and the NAME OF THE BOOK YOU WANT.
Here’s a simple, elegant dish from Lidia’s book:
TOMATO BREAD SOUP
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oi, plus more for the finished zuppa
1/2 cup finely diced yellow onion
6 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
3 28-ounce cans whole San Marzano tomatoes
2 cups water
5 1/2-inch slices stale Italian bread, crusts removed, cut into 1-inch cubes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
10 fresh basil leaves, washed
Freshly grated Grana Padano or Parmigiana-Reggiano cheese
1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a deep, heavy 4- to 5-quart pot. Add the onion and cook until wilted, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until golden, about 6 minutes. Meanwhile, crush the tomatoes with your hands or a vegetable mill.
2. Add the tomatoes and their juice to the pot, add the water, and bring all to a boil, stirring occasionally.
3. Once the tomatoes have boiled for 10 minutes, add the bread to the pot and bring back to a boil. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Add the basil leaves and adjust the level of heat to maintain a simmer.
4. Cook, uncovered, whisking occasionally to break up the pieces of bread, until the mixture is dense and silky, about 40 minutes.
5. If desired, remove garlic cloves and basil leaves. Season the soup to taste with additional salt and pepper if needed. Serve in warm bowls, drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil and shreds of fresh basil leaves and sprinkled with the grated cheese.
– “Lidia’s Favorite Recipes”