Cauliflower Boursin - Serves 4 

         Cauliflower Boursin
          2 cups tiny cauliflower florets
          1 cup water
          ½ teaspoon salt
          2 tablespoons butter
          ½ cup fennel, finely diced
          ½ cup Boursin cheese
          1 cup cheddar cheese
          2 sprigs of fresh dill weed

  • Submerge the cauliflower florets in salted boiling water for 2 minutes.
  • Rinse in cold water.
  • Heat the butter in a medium-sized sauté pan.
  • Sauté the fennel over medium heat until translucent.
  • Reduce heat to medium low.
  • Stir in the Boursin and cheddar cheeses and simmer until melted.
  • Add the cauliflower and gently stir until blended.
  • Adjust the seasoning and cool.
  • Garnish with the dill.

Quintessential - For a festive Valentine treat
4 small red peppers, 3 inches in diameter
1 egg, beaten

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Cut the peppers so the bottom half is 2-2 ½ inches tall.
  • Seed the bottom halves and reserve the top portions for the red pepper soup, for salads or vegetable sautés.
  • Trim a very small, this slice from the bottom of the pepper so it will stand on the plate without sliding.
  • Stir the beaten egg into the cauliflower mixture.
  • Fill the red pepper cups with the cauliflower mixture and place in a Pyrex baking dish.
  • Bake uncovered for 10 -15 minutes or until the mixture is warmed throughout. Place in warming oven until ready to serve.
  • Garnish with dill as above and serve.

    Lyon Real Estate   916 599-3018   
    © 2008 Nancy Dowd Harvey All Rights Reserved 



Pasta alla Norma - Serves 8 as an Appetizer     4 as a Main Course

This very popular Sicilian dish owes its name to the famous opera Norma by Vincenzo Bellini. In fact, Bellini and the Norma are among Sicily’s symbols of excellence.

Our family first enjoyed this dish at Pazzo Ristorante in Portland, Oregon, where we held our son and daughter-in-law’s rehearsal dinner. We all so savored it that upon our return home I concocted my own version and then further refined it for my Bella Sicilia cooking class.

2 eggplants, about 8 ounces each, diced very small—This cooks down considerably.

  • Sprinkle with garlic salt and coarse ground black pepper.
  • Sauté eggplant in a dry nonstick skillet over high heat stirring often to keep from sticking and until it reaches a dark brown color.

Tomato Ragù
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons butter
½ cup yellow onions, finely minced
½ cup carrots, finely minced
½ cup celery, finely minced
1 cup full-bodied red wine
5 ounces double concentrated Italian tomato paste (see Nancy’s Favorite Products in Kitchen Organization)
2 teaspoons of Glace de
 Gold Brown Sauce (See Nancy’s Favorite Products) concentrate diluted in 4 tablespoons of hot water
1 teaspoon salt and coarsely ground pepper or to taste
4 tablespoons chopped basil

  • Heat oil and butter in skillet over high heat. As soon as the butter begins to foam, add minced vegetables.  
  • Cook, stirring occasionally until vegetables are a rich golden brown.
  • Add wine and cook, stirring until almost half has evaporated. Stir in tomato paste and diluted Glace du Gold Brown Sauce.
  • Season with salt and pepper. As soon as the liquid comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low and partially cover pan.
  • Simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring sauce every 5 minutes to avoid sticking. The sauce should be thick with an appealing nutty brown color.

12 ounces tubular pasta or spaghetti
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt

  • Boil 4 quarts water with the salt and olive oil, add the pasta for 10-12 minutes or until it is al dente.    

½ cup ricotta cheese
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
3 ounces Parmesan cheese, shredded

  • Combine eggplant mixture with the tomato ragu and stir.
  • Combine the grated Parmesan with the ricotta cheese.
  • Add ricotta cheese by the dollop, gently stirring after each addition. The cheese should be visible; not thoroughly combined.

To Serve
8 basil sprigs, julienned


  • Mix pasta with sauce and serve in a decorative pasta bowl.
  • Top with shredded Parmesan and basil.


  • Twirl the spaghetti on the plate to form a nest.
  • Top with eggplant-tomato ragout and sprinkle with shredded Parmesan cheese and top with a sprig of fresh basil.

Frozen Asset

  • Freeze the sauce for up to 3 months in a non-metal container or zip bag.


  • Use as a wonderful winter topping with a heavier textured pan-seared fish such a halibut or swordfish or with beef or lamb.                                                                  OR
  • Add cooked, crumbled Sicilian Chicken Sausage to the sauce and serve with pasta of choice for a fabulous week-night meal.

Lyon Real Estate   916 599-3018   
© 2008 Nancy Dowd Harvey All Rights Reserved