Summer Ragout

-Take the skins off of 4-6 tomatoes by cutting a big X on the bottom of each tomato and submerging them in boiling water for 5 minutes.

-Peel each tomato from the bottom up, then chop them into large chunks.

-Wash any combination of whole peppers, ancho, sweet Italian or shisito.

-You could also do an eggplant this way.

-Turn your broiler to high and put the oven rack as close to the element as possible.

-Put the peppers on a baking tray and let broil for about 10 minutes until one side is charred.

-Then flip the peppers and broil the other side.

-When the peppers are cool enough to handle, chop them up and the eggplant too if using.

-Chop up 1 head of fennel into small dice if you have it.

-You could also do a summer squash.

-Heat 2 TBS extra virgin olive oil in a medium saucepan.

-Add the chopped fennel/summer squash and sauté for 10 minutes until soft.

-Put 2 cloves of garlic through a press, then add to the fennel if using.

-Add the tomatoes, peppers and eggplant.

-Add a splash or two of red wine and cook for 10 minutes until tomatoes are broken apart and saucy.

-Finely chop up ¼ bunch of fresh parsley and/or a large handful of basil and then add it to the tomatoes.

-Season with sea salt, freshly ground black pepper and some red pepper flakes if desired.

-If you want to serve it with out any grains involved, you can make the meatball recipe below and boil the meatballs in the sauce, covered for 10 minutes.

-Or serve with pasta (Linguini? Orchetta?) and some good quality grated Parmesan cheese.


Herbed Meatballs:

Meatballs need a new name because they are awesome and their name is not.

-Use any combination of ground meat you like, our favorite is half pork and half beef, but you can also use ground turkey or chicken.

-In a large bowl combine the following:

1 pound ground meat

¼ cup finely chopped fresh herbs (rosemary, sage, basil or flat leaf parsley)

1 egg

½ tsp sea salt and some freshly ground black pepper

-Gently mix, then shape into small 1.5 inch meatballs.

-You can simmer the meatballs in broth or tomato sauce for about 10 minutes over medium heat or you can bake the meatballs in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes until nicely browned.