Food ideas: Hot summer suppers

Even in the heat of summer it is pleasant to have both hot and spicy foods as long as there is a cooling drink to accompany and perhaps a dessert of fresh fruits in season.

In Good Taste Reno/Tahoe

Sunday afternoon, Aug. 6, I ventured south to Genoa where cookbook author, Sonnie Imes, was holding a book signing at The Wild Rose Inn. Sue Haugnes, owner hostess of this delightful bed and breakfast, provided a lovely setting for the event. Sonnie, the author of 12 cookbooks, most cordially autographed my copy of this very interesting book and offered to let our readers share a recipe. The recipes in this, and her other books, come from outstanding area restaurants. I was very impressed with this book as it has a good variety from 50 restaurants, plus a share by Sonnie and her collaborator Lori Lacey. It has been designed to lie flat on the counter, so no book weight is needed to keep your place as you follow a recipe. You can find this book here in Carson City at the Nugget Gift Shop, Sharon's Hallmark, The Greenhouse Nursery gift shop, Lofty Expressions, Marlo's Wine Shop and A Treasure Basket.

B'Sghetti's Pasta E. Fagoli

Serves 4-8

Here is one of the five recipes from B'Sghetti's. I think you will enjoy a taste of this classical soup from southern Italy. If you try your own version, later you might choose to visit B'Sghetti's to see how they do it.

1/4 pound ground beef

1/4 pound mild Italian Sausage

6 stalks celery, diced

1 large carrot, diced

1 medium onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

4 cups water

2 cups tomato sauce

2 tablespoons beef bouillon

1/2 teaspoon Tobasco

1 tablespoon basil

1 tablespoon oregano

1 cup garbanzo beans*

1 cup kidney beans*

1/2 pound shell pasta, precooked and cooled

garlic butter croutons for garnish

grated Parmesan cheese for garnish

In a large saucepan, brown beef and sausage. Add celery, carrots, onions and garlic. Cook until onions are transparent. Add water, tomato sauce, bouillon, Tobasco and spices. Bring to a boil. Add beans and simmer for 10 minutes. Fill bottom of serving bowl with generous amounts of shell pasta and spoon soup over the top. Sprinkle with garlic croutons and Parmesan cheese.

* These are canned beans.

Italian Garlic Bread

I was raised in Syracuse, N.Y. , which was home to a large population of Italians mostly from southern Italy and Sicily. Their food was rich, spicy and very filling. Also, the fresh baked Italian bread was a must with any meal. A light, crusty bread, it is hard to find here, but sweet French comes close. Select a large loaf, not a baguette.

1 loaf Italian or French bread*

1/4 pound softened butter

2 cloves garlic, pressed

Parmesan cheese, grated (optional)

Slice the loaf of bread lengthwise. Blend butter with garlic. Spread thickly on the bottom half of the loaf. Place top half on it, and slice the loaf in serving sized pieces. Holding the loaf together, place on a large sheet of foil and wrap tightly. Just before serving time, place in a 350F oven for about 10 minutes or until the butter is melted and the bread hot. Serve wrapped in the foil so each person can have a hot piece of bread with their meal. This is excellent to dip in soup, sop up the remains of fettuccini sauce or spaghetti sauce. I do not like the texture of Parmesan cheese on the bread, nor do I like herbs that may conflict with those in the dishes being served, but feel free to add them if you like.

* Make sure the crust is not soft. A fresh loaf in paper is best.

Caesar Salad

Makes 2 servings

There are two great debates over Caesar Salad. One is over anchovies. if you do not like anchovies, then Caesar Salad is not for you. If you make a salad without anchovies, it can be delightful and delicious, but it is not a Caesar Salad. The other debate concerns using a raw egg. A compromise version may use a coddled egg. To coddle, place a raw egg in its shell in boiling water, remove from heat and let it set 6 to 8 minutes before using in the dressing. I consulted my Culinary Arts Institute Sixth Edition that says coddled eggs can still harbor pathogens. So I called our local health department and was informed an egg must have its temperature raised to 165F for a minimum of 15 seconds to kill any pathogens such as salmonella. The health inspector I spoke with said she had seen a demonstration where the temperature was raised to 165F without cooking the egg. Well, with this debate still going on, one might forget the egg, or use a pasteurized egg product. In future, I intend to give this process a try and will report back to you, as raw eggs are an important ingredient in eggnog and some desserts such as chocolate mousse.

1 small head Romain lettuce.

4 cloves garlic

4 anchovy fillets

2 tablespoons lemon juice

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground coarse black pepper

8 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

2/3 cup plain or garlic flavored croutons

Rinse and dry lettuce, break into bite-sized pieces and chill. Rub salad bowl with a piece of garlic then mash garlic cloves to a paste. Mash the anchovies fine and blend in lemon juice, olive oil and garlic. Blend in the cheese, then mix with lettuce. Season with pepper, add croutons and serve. If you wish to add an egg or egg substitute, blend into the dressing with the cheese.

(Need a recipe? Have a cooking question? E-mail or write Ada Roelke, The Nevada Appeal, 200 Bath St., Carson City 89702.)


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