Alan Alda's Che-Cha
14 good-size Italian plum tomatoes or 2 (14 ounce) cans plum tomatoes
2 handsful fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/3 pound reduced fat mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 tablespoon olive oil
10 ounces fusilli (corkscrew macaroni) or your choice of noodle
Fill a pot with enough water to cover tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Add tomatoes to boiling water. Remove after about 10 seconds.
Mix the tomatoes, basil, garlic and cheese with the olive oil. Let stand in a covered bowl for at least 3 hours (or overnight) refrigerated.
Cook fusilli. Drain. Add sauce to hot pasta. Mix well and serve warm.
Alan Alda's Steak au Poivre
2 lbs. top-grade steak, cut 1-inch thick
2 tablespoons peppercorns (black and-or black and white, mixed)
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon fresh minced parsley
Few drops oil from pressed garlic
3 tablespoons beef broth
3 tablespoons cognac
Watercress (or parsley) for garnish
Dry steaks with a paper towel. Crush peppercorns coarsely with a rolling pin (or with a mortar and pestle). Rub and press crushed peppercorns into both sides of the steaks using your fingers and heel of
the hand. Let steaks stand at room temperature 2 hours or in refrigerator several hours, until the meat absorbs the flavor of the pepper.
Broil steaks 3 or 4 inches from source of heat until brown. Turn and grill on reverse side about 5 minutes longer for very rare meat (longer for well-done steak). Transfer steak at once to a heated platter. Salt meat to taste.
Pour cooking juices from broiler pan into a small skillet, adding butter, parsley, garlic oil, beef broth and cognac. Cook over medium heat until sauce is reduced in volume by one-half. Pour sauce over steak. Garnish with watercress (or parsley). Serve at once. Lovely served with French fries and a crisp green salad. Serves 4.
Thoughts: If desired, steaks may be pan-fried in a skillet. Use a mixture of half salt and half sweet butter to pan-fry steaks. If desired, a pat of parsley or tarragon butter (flavored with a few drops of fresh lemon juice and 1 drop of garlic) may be added directly to steaks just before serving and sauce omitted in the preparation. Either way the steak is sensational!