italian food

Ballin' on a Budget: Three Ingredient Tomato Sauce by audrey gebhardt

Homies. This recipe is truly a magic trick. You turn a can of tomatoes, a half a stick of butter & half of an onion into the richest, dreamiest pasta sauce you’ve ever had. YOU DON’T EVEN HAVE TO CHOP ANYTHING! All there is to it is to open a can and combine all of the ingredients in a pan- let them simmer away for 45 minutes and

Three Ingredient Tomato Sauce

The key here is to use niiiiice canned tomatoes. San Marzano are a non-negotiable here, as the quality of San Marzano tomatoes is what makes this sauce so simple and good. They are typically a few bucks more than your average mass produced canned tomatoes, but even with a pound of pasta this recipe comes together for way less than 10 bucks.

San Marzano tomatoes are much like Champagne in that they come from a specific region- San Marzano. They’re grown in the volcanic soil at the base of Mt. Vesuvius which somehow cuts the acidity. They also have thicker walls and fewer seeds than a traditional Roma tomato, which fills them with flavor. They are expertly cared for and picked at peak ripeness so you can be positive that every can of San Marzanos you pick up will be well, perfetto.

As always, you can check out the video for this recipe HERE on my IGTV!

(I can take no credit for this recipe as it is well well known and exploded the internet about 8 years ago- I’m just reminding you about it in case you’ve never heard of it!)

Three Ingredient Tomato Sauce

Three Ingredient Tomato Sauce
makes enough for 1 lb pasta

28 oz can San Marzano tomatoes, whole peeled
1/2 stick butter
1/2 medium onion

Place all of the ingredients in a large saucepan over medium-low heat and bring to a simmer (yes, leave the onion halved!). Allow to simmer for 45 minutes- after fifteen minutes, use the back of a spoon to press the tomatoes against the side of the pan to help them along in their breaking-down process.

Boil water in a large stockpot for the pasta and heavily salt it. I’m talking like three enormous pinches. Maybe four. Cook the pasta until al dente and add one ladle full of the starchy, salty water to the sauce just before tossing the pasta with the sauce to serve- this helps the sauce stick to the pasta! Top with shaved parmesan if you’re into that sorta thing!


Ballin' on a Budget: Lemon Asparagus Risotto by audrey gebhardt

I moved away from the home I lived in my whole life a bit less than a year ago. Some things have felt like a huge adjustment (not having a beach, not having a dozen houses nearby I can walk into unannounced, not eating pizza four times a week).

One of the things that I didn’t think about when I moved was the crocuses. The tiny white flowers that would pop up through the frost right outside my front door! The little flowers that could! Like clockwork, they’d show up within the first few days of March every year, snow or sunshine.

They were like the lighthouse bringing us to shore. The microwave minute nearing an end. The last hour of a red eye flight. And I miss them! I miss their cute lil faces popping up to remind us that one day we’ll be barefoot again.

So today, in Colorado, I’m calling in the crocuses of home with this Lemon Asparagus Risotto. This creamy, bright, flavorful dish comes together in about 30 minutes and pops in your mouth with a zing. All of the flavors of spring with the comfort of a still needed warm bowl of food.

In this recipe you can absolutely swap out the asparagus for whatever dark leafy green you have on hand, or even broccoli if that’s what you have! Risotto is extremely forgiving so this is a very loose recipe.

Lemon Asparagus Risotto

Lemon Asparagus Risotto (vegan optional)
Makes enough for 4 as a side dish

1/3 c diced onion
1 bunch asparagus, chopped into 3/4-1” chunks
1 lemon
1 c arborio rice
4 c vegetable stock (room temperature or warmed up-not cold!)
1 c water
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/2 c grated parmesan cheese (optional)
2 Tbsp butter (optional)

Toast the rice. In a large saucepan over a medium low flame, place the dry cup of arborio rice. Allow the rice to toast, moving around every so often so it doesn’t burn on one side. It will turn light brown and smell super nutty- remove from pan and place aside for now.

In the pan you just used, add the olive oil and onions over a medium flame. Sauté for about 5 minutes, until the onions are soft and translucent. Add the toasted rice and two cups of the vegetable stock. Bring to a simmer and allow to simmer, stirring occasionally until almost all of the liquid is absorbed.

When almost all of the liquid is absorbed, add another cup of stock and repeat the simmering process.

Repeat with the final cup of stock. At the end of this simmering point, the rice should be nearly finished cooking.

Add the cup of water and the chopped asparagus, cook for another five minutes until all of the liquid is absorbed and the asparagus is bright bright green.

Stir in the lemon zest, salt and pepper (and at this point you can add the parm + butter if you’re using them! It’s still creamy and delicious without it but that definitely adds an extra layer of flavor!).

Serve immediately.