I’m so embarrassed, I forgot to mention in my last post that 10% of Mary’s secret ingredients’ annual profits will be donated to Feed the Children, a wonderful, worldwide organization that provides nourishing food, hygiene items, educational books and supplies for boys and girls in need.
I have always said that there is plenty of food in this world. It just needs to be redistributed and to not go to waste. Please take a look at these links and articles. No one should go hungry. I’m very excited to be able to give this non-profit a helping hand with MARY’s secret ingredients. Man, I would love to play a part in eradicating hunger in this world – it’s on my bucket list. You can help. All the more reason to order a box! Feed yourself and your family while feeding the needy children of the world.
This past week, the day after we arrived home from California, at around 5 pm, our youngest son informed me that he and his girlfriend would be home for dinner. That morning, I had taken two flounder fillets out of the freezer and had planned to roast them for Steve and me and make a simple vegetable for dinner. So now I only had a little over 1 lb. of fish for four people. I was tired and crabby from the travel and time change and had no desire to go to the fish store uptown to buy more fish and a decent vegetable. What to do?
Walking to the subway on the way home, while talking out loud to my husband, I decided to make it stretch. I called my son, Zach, and asked him to mince 5 cloves of garlic, pit and chop 15 olives, take the anchovies out of the fridge and make sure the flounder fillets had thawed. (They hadn’t.) I thought, let’s make a pasta dish with the flounder in a red sauce! Add some anchovies and olives for an extra boost of flavor! I stopped in the grocery store downstairs in my building and bought some broccoli and a beautiful bunch of large radishes. I tossed those with some olive oil and salt and pepper, and roasted them at 425 degrees for about 15 minutes, along with the recipe below and we had a super delicious, satisfying dinner for everyone; quick to boot, with everything ready in about 40 minutes. Suddenly I wasn’t crabby anymore! (A little food does wonders – think of what it could do for the world!)
Now, because I only had buccatini in the apartment, which is a big noodle, I did not toss the sauce with the pasta, but served the pasta in a bowl, drizzled a tiny bit of olive oil on top and then ladled the red fish sauce on top. If I would have tossed it all together before serving, I would have broken up all those beautiful little pieces of flounder and made mush out of them. Not a good thing, nor pretty to serve. Now I know the true Italians would disagree with me here but that’s what I did, allowing each individual to mix it up in their own bowl.
PASTA WITH FLOUNDER IN A RED SAUCE – serves 4
2 tbs. olive oil
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1/3 of bunch of parsley leaves, washed, dried and chopped
2 tsp. tomato paste
1 – 28 oz. can of whole San Marzano tomatoes, hand crushed, with the sauce
5 flat anchovy fillets, patted dry with a paper towel, chopped
2 fillets of flounder, about 1.3 lbs., washed, dried, cut down the middle and then cut into 1/2” chunks
15 olives, black and green in oil, pitted and minced
1 lb. pasta – bucatini or fettuccine
Put a large pot on water on to boil for the pasta.
Warm olive oil in a large skillet. Add minced garlic on low heat and stir for 5 minutes. Raise heat to medium – medium high and add the chopped parsley and cook and stir for 1 minute. Add the tomato paste and stir for 1 – 2 minutes. You must always try to brown the tomato paste in order to get the most flavor out of it – this is key!
Then add the hand crushed can of tomatoes with the juice along with the anchovies and let the whole thing vigorously simmer for about 10 minutes to thicken.
Meanwhile your pasta water has probably boiled. Salt with course sea salt to taste like ocean water (you know what that means, do not taste it and burn your tongue) and add your pasta. Stir and cook until al dente.
Salt and pepper the sauce to taste and add the cut up flounder fillets. Lower the heat a bit and stir gently, often. Fold over with a rubber spatula to stir so you don’t break up the pieces of fish. This will take about 7 minutes to cook the fish. Then taste the sauce to adjust salt and pepper and at the very end, add the chopped olives. Remember the olives will add more salt so take that into consideration. Turn your heat off.
Drain the pasta when done. Place pasta in bowls and drizzle a little olive oil on top so the noodles don’t stick together. Then ladle some beautiful sauce on top in the center. Serve immediately, with LOVE.
ROASTED BROCCOLI WITH RADISHES – serves 4
1 head of broccoli, washed, stems trimmed and peeled, each stalk quartered or even cut more
5 large radishes, scrubbed, dried and quartered
2 tbs. olive oil
Heat oven to 425 degrees. Toss broccoli and radishes with the olive oil and salt and pepper to taste on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast for 15 – 17 minutes until broccoli stems are fork tender to your liking. The broccoli heads will become a little charred, but I like them that way. They are so tasty. Serve immediately, very hot, on a side plate, with LOVE.