It’s that time of year again… the excruciating 40 days of Lent where I have to give up a delightful type of food and meat on Fridays… oh boy! Giving up meat once a week doesn’t sound like it would be so bad… but it is always a hard thing for me because I LOVE meat. This previous week I was anxiously awaiting the return of my sweetheart, who was out of town on business (for an entire week!) and decided the perfect “Welcome Home” present was a 5 course meal. On a Friday. During Lent.
The planning for this extraordinary event took a lot of time and maneuvering due to the fact that we could not consume meat… but alas, I made it happen.
For those unfamiliar with the “etiquette” of a 5 course meal… it is traditionally as follows:
Course 1: Soup (I chose to make a homemade Broccoli Cheese Soup)… it was delicious.
Course 2: Typically a fish course (I could not serve fish during this course because fish was my entree… I chose to make homemade ravioli with a homemade tomato sauce instead).
Course 3: The Entree. Usually supposed to consist of red meat. (I served a lightly breaded, seared halibut with julienned yellow squash and grilled asparagus)
Course 4: Traditionally the Salad course (I used Spinach with shrimp)
Course 5: Dessert (Cherry cheesecake complements of Whole Foods… I can’t cook 4 courses and bake a dessert, people!)
My menu was set, the groceries were purchased and the prep work began. The prep was completed mostly on Thursday night (with the help of my little sister, Kristie). I was ready to spring to action on Friday, planning down to the minute of when items should be moved to the oven, etc.
I am proud to say that my meal went off without a hitch. Eric loved the homemade soup (That was my favorite out of all of it!). He also was very impressed by my homemade ravioli and sauce. I learned from a friend of mine that every sauce should be finished off with some butter. I used this tidbit and my sauce was terrific. In fact, I am listing my homemade tomato sauce recipe below… a Kate original… if you ever choose to make it. Bon Apetit!
Kate’s Homemade Pasta Sauce
1 box of cherry tomatoes
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 small onion
butter (I used Promise… but whatever floats your boat)
Salt and Pepper to taste
Start with the EVOO in a sauce pan on med-high heat. Add the cherry tomatoes and cover. Cook the tomatoes til they start to “pop.” This usually takes about 15 minutes. Once they start to pop, add the onion, chopped. Continue to let the mixture cook until all of the tomatoes pop. This may require you to “help them” by squishing them with a spatula. Add a splash of pinot grigio, chopped parsley (I use a handful) and a dash of salt and pepper.
Let cook covered for 30 minutes. Add about an 1/8 of a cup of grated parmesan cheese. Allow to cook another 10 minutes. Finish with fresh basil and a teaspoon of butter. Serve hot.
Hope it turns out good for you too! I’d love to hear feedback if you get to try it!