roberto's sauce with grilled tuscan chicken..

first let me start off by apologizing for the quality of the photos and the strange blue hue surrounding them.. when i got home yesterday it was pouring rain.. another rain storm like our last flood.. and just as i walked in the back yard it stopped for about 20 minutes and sliver of light poked through the clouds and i tried to take advantage of it.. however looking at them now i can see it made the photo funky.. so.. sorry.. but i wanted to share this recipe with you.. it's called roberto's sauce because well roberto taught it to me.. and after he made it for me i made it probably once a week for a year.. then completely and totally forgot about it and sadly him until recently.. roberto was a boy from italy who came to live with my parents for the summer i am going to say in 1990 or maybe 91.. my brother was away in law school and my mom had a friend/work acquitance who lived in italy and his son wanted to come to vegas so my mom said he could live with them and stay in curtis' room.. he was extremely shy and didn't speak very good english.. but the boy could cook.. and cook well.. he would take bacon, fresh tomatoes, fresh herbs and cook it together and it was so light.. so flavorful.. so delicate.. i even made it for pete's family one time and pete's sister when she got home to reno made it for her family and it became part of their monthly repertoire.  she would sometimes add fresh shrimp and scallops!!
back then i had a little business where i made "herb baskets" i would get really pretty baskets and line them with a garbage bag then add pete moss then add the dirt and add different herbs.. i would include little scissors so you could snip your herbs and a small shovel.. they were very cute.. i would also add a recipe that would best highlight the herbs in the basket.. and roberto's sauce was my number one "seller".. wow that's alot of memories in one post.. i hadn't thought of my basket business, roberto or curtis in law school in very very long time..

i think it's great to refresh a recipe  from your archives.. re-create it exact or modernize it.... this one is still as light and delicate.. i do have one confession to maki.. i never wrote it down for myself heck i gave it our willy nilly to anyone who asked but back then i thought i would have a wonderful memory and never forget anything.. *eyroll* the huberous of the young.. i am not sure if it's the true version of roberto's sauce.. (if anyone reading this is someone i gave the recipe to please share) i think this version is pretty darn close..and i added some grilled chicken to it.. it really was a nice end of the summer meal.. we went from 90+ to 60+ in a matter days around here.. fall has arrived..
(i will search my grandmother's recipes and see if i gave her the original version.. if so i will update this post..)

roberto's sauce
prep time: 25 minutes
cooking time: 30 minutes
servings: 4-6
6 slices of bacon cut into lardons
2 lbs. ripe tomatoes, seeded and diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tblsp. fresh thyme and oregano, chopped
1 tsp. crushed red chili flakes
1 pound angel hair pasta, cooked according to package directions
1/4 cup chiffonade basil
in a large saute pan over medium/high heat render down your bacon... you want it cooked but not "crispy" once it's cooked add your garlic and saute for about 2 minutes.. then add your thyme, oregano and chili flakes and saute for a bit more about 2-3 more minutes.. then add your tomatoes.. lower heat and cook slowly for about 15 or so minutes.. (ok here is where i can't remember if he added a can of tomato sauce, or chicken broth or nothing so i opted adding a little pasta water..) cook your pasta according to package directions..  right before your ready to drain your pasta laddle a 1/2 cup of the pasta water and add to your sauce.. then drain your pasta and add the drained pasta to the sauce..add parmesan and basil and toss well.. serve hot..
tuscan lemon chicken (recipe inspired from ina garten's found here...)
prep time: 10 minutes
cooking time: 20-30 minutes
servings: 4
4  boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/3 cup of olive oil
zest and juice of 2 lemons
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tblsp. fresh chopped thyme
salt and pepper
salt and pepper your chicken and set aside.. in a small mixing bowl whisk together olive oil, lemon zest & juice, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper.. place chicken in ceramic or glass dish.. pour lemon marinade over chicken.. cover chicken and place in fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight..  turn the chicken 2-3 times while marinating..  when your ready to grill get your grill ready to medium/high heat.. place chicken on grill and grill about 10-15 minutes on each side.. basically you want the internal temperature to be 165 when done.. when done remove chicken and allow to rest for about 5 minutes before slicing.. i sliced it and served it over the pasta..


Popular Posts