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Another Cooking Club unit is underway at the Boys and Girls Club on Cherry Avenue.  We’re continuing with the wonderful girls from last unit, building on what they have learned already.To do so, we’ve added two amazing sous chefs, Rex and Gerrod, 2 highschoolers who have been with the PB &J fund since our very first class almost two whole years ago this June.  When I say they are stepping up to the challenge of helping the younger girls–this is a huge understatement.  They are going above and beyond: asking how they can clean up as we go, teaching the girls how to flip their crepes with the flick of their wrist, if they can taste to see if we need more basil.  They’re  unbelievable.

We made three simple and fresh types of pasta sauces (that we all devoured), tasted different Italian cheeses and olive oils.   Ms. Carrie brought some amazing recipes (below) back from a cooking class she took while on vacation in Tuscany, and Ms. Lucy shared her famous pesto.

Later today: making stock from scratch to use in later lessons this semester then spicy eggplant eggrolls and hummus while the stock is simmering away.  Hungry already.

Salsa di pomodoro (Tomato Sauce)


  • 2 Ib Italian Peeled Tomatoes (1 large can)
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 small bunch fresh basil
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil


  1. Chop the onion (fairly fine) and fry in 2 tablespoons of olive oil until transparent
  2. Add the tomatoes, and cook over low heat for 30-45 minutes stirring occasionally.
    1. It is ready when the tomatoes begin breaking up easily under your spoon
  3. Add the fresh basil and stir in olive oil until absorbed by the sauce.

Creamy Mozzarella and Tomato Sauce


  • 7 oz fresh tomato sauce (from above)
  • ½ Ib fresh mozzarella
  • 2 hot chilies (hot pepper flakes), optional
  • Salt, Olive Oil and fresh Basil


  1. Blend together chopped mozzarella, 2 hot chilies, pinch of salt, olive oil, and warm tomato sauce until smooth.
  2. Cook your pasta until al dente and mix with the sauce in a warm pan off the heat (otherwise, mozzarella will melt).
  3. Decorate with fresh basil leaves.

Lucy’s Pesto Sauce


  • 4  cups  fresh basil leaves
  • 2  tablespoons  pine nuts
  • 2  tablespoons  extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 2  garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/2  cup  (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 2  tablespoons  grated fresh Romano cheese
  • 2  teaspoons  butter, softened


  1. Combine the first 5 ingredients in a food processor; process until finely minced.
  2. Place in a large bowl. Stir in cheeses and butter until blended.
  3. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat.
  4. Drain in a colander over a bowl, reserving 3 tablespoons cooking liquid.
  5. Add pasta and reserved cooking liquid to pesto, tossing to coat.
  • Calendar icon March 5, 2012
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