Wednesday, September 08, 2004

These Old Books

One of the best things about sorting through books to donate to the school carnival is the rediscovery of books that I haven't read in a very long time. In this case, I'm enjoying rereading the Time-Life Foods of the World series. Believe me, I have looked at a lot of current cookbooks that purport to cover different countries and none do a better job than this series. These books are around 30 years old but they still are au courant in telling the foods and customs of practically every cuisine that exists. Each country has two books, a large hardback book and a smaller spiral-bound book that only contains recipes. Different authors were used for each book and they lend their own special styles to each. Most libraries have a set of these classics and you can often find various volumes in used book stores. If you are at all interested in either reading or cooking food from other cuisines, these are the books to go to.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Supper Again?

Its that age old problem for every mom. At a certain point any enthusiasm you have for cooking turns to a feeling of dread as the dinner hour approaches and you realize that you don't know what's for dinner ... and everyone is asking you.

When I answer Tuna Noodles, I actually get hugs, believe it or not. I'm not sure if Tuna Noodles is actually the name as this is an authentic Italian recipe but I don't have this cookbook any more and that's what we call them. My only tip on this is to be sure to use albacore (the only kind of tuna you'll find at our house), Crown Prince brand if possible. Yes, its a little more expensive but you can tell that the tuna was once a fish so its worth it.

Tuna Noodles
From Italy Al Dente by Biba Caggiano

Step 1:
¼ cup olive oil
3 tablespoons chopped onion or shallot
3 anchovy fillets, chopped, or 1 teaspoon of anchovy paste
2 garlic cloves, minced
sauteƩ onion until lightly golden. Add anchovies and garlic, and stir for about 1 minute.

Step 2:
1 12-ounce can albacore
½ cup dry white wine
Salt and red pepper flakes to taste
Add tuna and stir well. Add wine and cook until wine is almost all reduced. Season with salt and chili pepper. Remove from heat.

Step 3:
1 pound spaghetti
Cook pasta until al dente. Save ½ cup of cooking water, add to sauce and turn heat on to medium. Mix pasta and sauce in large serving bowl.