Tag Archives: marinara

So good it jumps into your mouth

Want to know why Europe was so crazy over New World vegetables? How about some marinara sauce on your pasta? ‘Marinara’ means ‘how the sailors make it.’ I like it because you can whip up a great sauce in the same time your pasta cooks.

As soon as you enter the house—DON’T EVEN TAKE YOUR COAT OFF YET—put a pot of water on to boil.

Chop a clove of garlic into little pieces. Pour a tablespoon of vegetable oil into a medium-hot skillet, then brown the garlic. I like onions, so I chop maybe a quarter cup of onions and throw them in the skillet and cook them until they’re brown/translucent (kind of clear). When the water boils, put pasta in the pot. Grab 4-5 tomatoes—use Roma tomatoes if you can get ‘em, even better out of your garden—chop them into sixths and throw them into the skillet (they should sizzle!) and cook them down for 10 minutes. Add salt, pepper and a fresh basil leaf.

Drain your pasta (put your plate under the colander so the water heats it up), put the pasta on the plate, drizzle a little olive oil onto it, pour the sauce onto the pasta, grate some parmigiano cheese on top. Boom! Done. Buon appetito!

Next time Nonna makes big sauce, thank Columbus

The thing about Christopher Columbus: he was the European navigator who discovered the New World, but it’s not clear that he knew he discovered the New World. At least, it must have been nearly impossible to recognize how big North and South America are. It looks like he may not have gotten as far north as Florida.

Christopher Columbus made four trips to the New World. His voyages were the beginning of what we call the Age of Exploration. European traders started asking, “What if the New World has even more or better stuff than China?” The New World had never-seen-before fruit and vegetables like tomatoes, potatoes, pineapples, peppers, pumpkins—and a new kind of poultry, the turkey. Chocolate and tobacco came from the New World. Europe wanted these new products as much as they’d wanted Chinese silk and spice. Remember that Columbus was sponsored by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella. Spain became a major world power through her new source of trade. The Ottoman Empire no longer held all the cards.