I am attempting to get caught up on my posts. I have the picture collages all made, but the writing is slow going. The following is a "recipe" that I taught to Rita (my wonderful host lady in Brazil) on my last day in Fortaleza. (Woke up around 9, showered and packed and made marinara sauce and ate lunch before I left for the airport at 2). It was crazy hectic, but so much fun to pass along an "American" recipe.
Rita was quite impressed that I knew how to handle a knife. She was a little miffed that I didn't inform her earlier that I was good at cooking. My response, I didn't know how to communicate earlier in Portuguese that I knew how to cook...
Marinara Sauce (KWeage style)
I apologize in advance for the lack of measurements type of recipe this will be. In fact, most of my cooking recipes are more like guidelines, i.e. stick to them if you want, or change whatever you like (thats how I cook).
bell pepper (preferably red/yellow/orange... but use green if you like)
tomato (we used fresh, you can use a can if thats all you have)
salt, pepper, and brown sugar to taste
splash of balsamic vinegar (more on this in a coming recipe)
Saute diced onion and garlic in olive oil until onions are soft. Add chopped bell pepper. (If you are going to add additional veggies, go ahead and throw them in now). Toss in tomatoes (If they are fresh, put on a lid and let the tomatoes break down a bit). Season with oregano and thyme (and basil if not fresh). Let simmer until tomatoes break down. You can add tomato paste if you like a thicker sauce, or simmer with the lid off to reduce. Then taste it. If its too acidic for your liking, add some brown sugar. If you want a little something extra, add some balsamic vinegar. Add some fresh cracked pepper and salt. If using fresh basil, throw some into the pot a few minutes before serving to let the flavor soak through.
We served it over some whole-wheat pasta. Serve it with some parm up on top and fresh basil to make it look good. You can totes add some meat for all you carnivores. Or serve with some garlic bread, if you are into that sort of thing.