Tina Cristiani's Marinara Sauce
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsps. sweet butter
2 large yellow onions, peeled, chopped
1/2 cup diced carrot
1 large clove garlic, finely minced
1 can (16 ozs.) Italian plum tomatoes
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried basil (or 1 tbsp. fresh chopped basil)
Handful chopped fresh parsley
Heat olive oil and butter in large saucepan (or skillet). Cook onion, carrot and garlic in butter-oil mixture until Vegetables are limp. Add remaining ingredients, cook about 1 1/4 hours, stirring occasionally. Taste to correct seasonings. Great to serve over baked (or broiled) chicken, veal, fish, or lightly steamed vegetables (zucchini or spinach). Makes about 3 1/2 cups.
Thoughts: For meatier touches: broil 2 sweet or hot Italian sausages until done, drain off excess fat, chop, add to sauce during last 30 minutes, or brown 1/2 lb. lean ground beef in small amount of oil before adding to sauce. Butter-browned mushrooms, a dash of white wine and-or grated lemon rind gives an unusual flavor to the sauce.
Tina Cristiani's Wine-Smothered Quail
2 large quail, picked, drawn and cleaned
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2-3 tbsps. sweet butter, melted
2-3 tbsps. fine grade olive oil
About 1/2 cup dry red wine
Wash and dry birds; truss birds by tying them with string. Rub cavities with salt, pepper and rosemary. Rub inside and outside liberally with butter and olive oil. Brown quickly in heavy skillet (or Dutch oven). Add wine, reduce heat, cook until birds are tender. Serve with Tina's green salad of romaine, bacon bits and Roquefort dressing and good red wine. Makes 2 servings.
Thoughts: Allow one bird per person, more if birds are small. Squab may be substituted if quail is not available. Quail can also be oven-roasted: place in preheated 450 degrees F. oven 5 minutes, reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F. and roast 15-20 minutes longer, depending on size of the bird. Baste frequently with the wine-butter-olive oil sauce.