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  • Rebecca Anne

Simple, always delicious home cooking - 2 recipe ideas

My day-to-day cooking is cooking for 1. Yes, I entertain often and can/do cook for a crowd. But day-to-day, it is just me - so I have gotten into the practice of making 2 big home cooked meals on the weekend to have for lunch and dinner during the work week. No having to come home after work, teaching or the gym to have to start a meal from scratch. I assemble the meal - and am able to sit down to eat. Or at lunch time, I can spend time going for a walk, rather than going to find lunch. I also make healthier choices because I have front-loaded the work -- and only have to assemble or reheat (when I am normally already super hungry).

Chopped rainbow peppers

This does mean I spend a chunk of weekend time in the kitchen. This is time I look forward to each week and it is a ritual for taking care of myself. The meditation of chopping and prepping vegetables or protein. The bubbling of a sauce or aroma of what's cooking in the oven. The sense of

accomplishment when I have packaged and prepped everything for easy taking. A form of self-care that I hope to help others practice more and more.

July in New England means enjoying a multitude of fresh vegetables and this makes for home cooking at its best. And, even better, the freshness of the ingredients means that minimalist preparation offers food that sings. Here's two recipes that are simple, yet always delicious for you, as a home cook (either as a seasoned cook or a cook-in-training).


Snap Pea Salad

This is loosely based on a green bean salad I've found in the deli at Belmont Market in

Photo credit: Chiot's Run via Visualhunt / CC BY-NC

Wakefield, RI.


  • 1 lb fresh snap pea (or sugar peas can be substituted)

  • 1/2 tbsp - 1 tbsp sesame seeds

  • 1 tbsp - 2 tbsp sesame oil

  • kosher salt (to taste)


To prepare the peas, remove the ends. Cut into bite-sized pieces. This is, more often than not, cutting in half. Toss the cut peas with 1/2 tbsp of sesame seeds, 1 tbsp of sesame oil and a pinch of kosher salt. Taste. Add more sesame seeds or oil to your taste.


I serve this as a side with a grilled chicken breast or a veggie burger. It would also pair well with a grilled protein of your choice (fish, shrimp, pork, or steak). I have also added the peas to a slaw for a slightly different take. Message me for more info on how I did this.


Marcella Hazan's Tomato Sauce

Tomato puree cooking down

This is made from Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan & Karin Kretschmann. The New York Times also has an article about this recipe -- it is seriously a keeper and I can't recommend it enough. Word to the wise: don't discard the onion. I leave it in the sauce or you can add it anything (i.e. on top of fresh fish)...seriously, trust me.


  • 1 lb fresh tomatoes (or high quality canned tomatoes, preferably from a farmer's market or other local vendor)

  • 1 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter (my current favorite is Kerrygold)

  • 1 medium onion, cut into quarters or eighths (I prefer the larger chop)


If using fresh tomatoes, roughly chop them and put them in a stock pot. Cook on medium to medium high heat until soft and the juices let out (about 20 minutes or so -- it may even come to a slow boil). You will notice that the skins, stems, and seeds start to separate from the meat of the tomatoes. This is a good thing.

Cool the tomatoes slightly. In batches, put the soften tomatoes (and all their juices, stems, seeds, and skins) through a food mill. This will separate the puree from the stems, seeds, skins, and leave you with the liquid gold (aka the tomato puree). Compost or discard what is left in the mill.

Taking the tomato puree (either bottled or your freshly made puree from above), add it to a stock pot with the butter and the onion. Over medium heat, bring to a simmer. {NOTE: if you prefer a thicker sauce, add a can of tomato paste or 2 tbsp of concentrated tomato paste.} Simmer until the butter is integrated and the onions soften. You can add salt/pepper to taste, if desired.


You can use this sauce for any recipe where you'd add a tomato sauce. I've had it on pasta (maybe add a little fresh, chopped basil or a bit of pesto), with meatballs or sausage, on pizza (recommend the thicker version in the NOTE above), or in place of the tomato for a saucier version of ratatouille. It also does freeze well, so make an extra large batch and freeze for later. Have other ideas? Comment below to share!


I hope you enjoy. Please do share how the recipes come out - find me on Instagram or Twitter and share your experience, pics, or other ideas!

Buen provecho.

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