The Roanoker - January/February 2020 - 18

southern spoonful

The Secret's
in the Sauce
These easy recipes will have guests thinking
you've been hard at work in the kitchen for
hours.
photographed by ASHLEY CUOCO

ITALIAN SAUSAGE SLIDERS

MY MOST RECENT FOOD adventure is learning
how to make homemade pasta. On any given day my
pasta may be perfect or full of imperfections, but one
thing I know for sure, my pasta sauce will be perfect.
How can I say this with such conviction? I've made my
Mom's marvelous from-scratch pasta sauce for years.
To me, it is perfection, but I don't always have time to
spend hours stirring a pot of sauce, so I created these
recipes that have all of the flavor with much less effort.
For now I will leave the pasta making to who I
believe are the local pasta aficionados - Ashley
Cuoco and Chef Stephanie Fees. Cuoco is a food
photographer and blogger. She has the best basic
pasta recipes as well as some fancier flavorful sauce
recipes on her blog (ashcuoco.com). Chef Fees owns
Scratch Pasta Company that makes and sells fabulous
pasta in Lynchburg. Her pasta is available at Wine
Gourmet, Roanoke Natural Foods Co+op and online
at scratchpastaco.com.
As for my homemade pasta being imperfect, Cuoco
made me feel much better when she told me, "I believe
handmade pasta should be imperfect. You'll always
know it was made by loving human hands."

18

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2020

Magical Marinara

This sauce is pure magic when you don't
have time to make marinara from scratch.
* 28-ounce can Cento crushed
tomatoes
* 6-ounce jar basil pesto
* 6-ounce jar sun-dried tomato pesto
* ½ tablespoon Greek seasoning
Place all ingredients in a large pot.
Stir to combine ingredients. Cook over
medium low heat for 10 minutes. Serve
warm over your favorite pasta. This
magical marinara is also a delicious
condiment on Italian sausage sliders.

Italian Sausage Sliders

Yield: 12 sliders. Preheat oven to 400
degrees Fahrenheit.
* ¼ cup finely chopped onion
* 1 tablespoon Greek seasoning
* 1 pound sweet Italian sausage
* 1 pound ground beef
* 8 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
* 1 egg
* 12 slices very thin white bread, cut
into very small cubes

*
*
*
*

½ teaspoon red chili flakes
12 slider buns, split open and toasted
1 cup Magical Marinara Sauce
12 slices mozzarella cheese

Place onions, Greek seasoning, Italian
sausage, ground beef, basil leaves and
egg in a large mixing bowl. Mix using a
large wooden spoon or your hands. Add
bread cubes and red chili flakes and
continue to mix until all ingredients are
well incorporated.
Divide the mixture into 12 balls and
flatten with a slider press or your hands
to make sliders. Bake for 20 minutes or
until they reach an internal temperature of
160 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove sliders
from oven and top each slider with a slice
of Mozzarella cheese, folding the corners
to fit the top of the slider. Place sliders
on bottoms of slider buns. Return sliders
to oven for one or two minutes until the
cheese is melted. Remove from oven and
top with Magical Marinara sauce (about 1
tablespoon per slider). Place bun tops on
sliders to serve.
Wine pairing: Le Due Arbie 2016 Chianti
Superiore, $17, Mr. Bill's Wine Cellar
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The Roanoker - January/February 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Roanoker - January/February 2020

The Roanoker - January/February 2020 - Intro
The Roanoker - January/February 2020 - Cover1
The Roanoker - January/February 2020 - Cover2
The Roanoker - January/February 2020 - 3
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