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Penne with Roasted Tomatoes


  • 1/4 cup plus 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Vidalia (or other sweet) onion, finely sliced
  • 9 to 10 fresh plum tomatoes
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed through a garlic press, or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons finely grated pecorino cheese
  • 1 pound penne or rigatoni pasta


1. Preheat the oven to 400˚F and center a rack in the oven.

2. Spread the bottom of a 13-by-17-inch rimmed baking sheet with 1/4 cup of the olive oil. Scatter the onion slices evenly over the baking sheet in a single layer. Slice the tomatoes crosswise (you want rounds, not ovals) about 1/3 inch thick, and arrange the slices side by side over the onions so that the entire baking sheet is evenly covered. Push the slices right up against each other without overlapping them. Sprinkle with about 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. If you’re using fresh garlic, squeeze it through a press onto the cutting board (not directly onto the tomatoes – you don’t want it all to land on one lone tomato). Sprinkle the pressed garlic or garlic salt, if you’re using that, evenly over the tomatoes. Sprinkle the Parmesan so that each tomato slice gets a light covering and then do the same with the pecorino. Drizzle all over with 2 more tablespoons of the olive oil.

3. Roast until the edges of the tomatoes are shriveled (some will begin to brown) but the tomato slices themselves have not yet begun to brown, 50 to 60 minutes. (At this point, you can cover the baking sheet with foil and set it aside at room temperature until you’re ready to eat; the heat of the just-cooked pasta will rewarm the vegetables.)

4.   For the rigatoni, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt until the water tastes salty (about 1/4 cup). Set a colander in the sink. Add the pasta and cook according to the package directions. Drain in the colander. Return the rigatoni to the pot. Scrape in the tomato-onion mixture, add the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil, and stir well. (If you like, cover the pasta now and set it aside at room temperature until you’re ready to eat; taste it for seasoning before you serve.) Divide it among shallow bowls or deep pasta plates. Add a little pepper to each, and serve with more Parmesan cheese.

Wine Can Chicken (Anna’s version of a beer can chicken)


  • 1 (3 1/4- to 3 1/2-pound) chicken, preferably organic
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, unpeeled, smashed with the side of a large knife
  • ½ cup of white wine
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4 leaves fresh sage
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • ½  large carrot diced
  • 1 celery stalk diced
  • 2 tbs. diced onion
  • 1 soda can (top cut off with a scissor, rinsed out and dried well)


1.   Place the chicken in a bowl large enough to hold it comfortably, with room to spare. Add the vinegar and enough cold water to cover the chicken completely. Let the chicken soak for about 30 minutes. Remove the chicken from the bowl, rinse it under cold running water, and pat it completely dry, inside and out, with paper towels.

2.   Arrange the oven rack in the bottom third of the oven and preheat the oven to 450˚F.

3.  Take your empty soda can and fill it about ½ full with white wine. Add thyme, sage, onion, carrot, celery and garlic to the can. Set aside

4.   In a roasting pan or baking dish just large enough to hold it, set the chicken down. Massage the entire chicken well with salt until salt begins to dissolve. I use about 2 tablespoons salt. Then massage chicken with canola oil. Finally pepper well.

5.  Pick up the chicken, place chicken open end down over the beer can so that the can is inserted into the cavity of the chicken. You need the chicken to remain upright – so it looks like its sitting up. You do not want the chicken to tip over  and thus spilling the contents of the can.

6.  Put the pan in the oven and roast  at 450 for about 10 minutes – then reduce heat to 400 and cook until the skin of the chicken is nicely browned and the juices run clear when you insert a small knife into the thigh, 1 hour to 1 hour 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, cover the chicken with aluminum foil, and let it rest 15 to 20 minutes.




Monday, December 10, 2012

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