Monday, May 3, 2010

Fra Diavolo and French Bread

(At Jeff's suggestion, I switched the title from Frau to Fra, but I think the original menu in Moab was Frau). This is actually a half of a loaf of French Bread, but you get the idea. When we were first married we spent some time backpacking in Canyonlands/Arches area. While down there, we treated ourselves to some mighty fine pasta in nearby Moab. Jeff loved his dish so much that he spent a considerable amount of time and energy later on trying to duplicate the recipe. Here's the final outcome.

And the French Bread recipe comes from a friend in Utah - Ami Wilcox. It's become a staple in our house. SOOOO good and so easy - just time consuming (do this on a day you'll be home for a couple of hours straight). Serve this all with some Farfalle pasta (any actually will do) and fresh salad (and home-bottled peaches if you have it). Dessert? I'm sure I'll think of something some other day.

Fra Diovolo Sauce

6+ strips bacon, diced

1 (28 oz) can diced stewed tomatoes - or fresh diced tomatoes if you have them (just know you'll have tomato skin in the sauce if you don't take it off)

6 cloves garlic, crushed or diced

(opt: 1 med. onion, diced)

4 Tbs. Olive Oil

2 Tbs. Balsamic Vinegar

1/2 tsp. salt

Crushed red pepper flakes to taste

Combine all ingredients, stirring to separate bacon if needed. Let simmer in sauce pan (or we use our wok) at least 20 minutes, longer if you can wait. Serve over pasta boiled in salted water.

French Bread:

In a 2 cup measuring cup, dissolve 1 tsp. sugar into 1/2 cup warm water. Add 2 Tbs. yeast, let rise about 5 minutes.

In large mixing bowl (Kitchenaid or Bosch or other stand mixers are great if you have one), mix 3 cups Bread flour with 2 Tbs. sugar and 3 tsp. salt.

When yeast is ready, first add 2 Cups of the hottest tap water to the flour. Stir well. Add 5 Tbs. vegetable oil. Stir well. Then add yeast mixture. Stir well again and add 3 more cups bread flour. Mix until all flour is absorbed.

Leave dough hook or mixing spoon in dough. Cover with clean, dry towel ad let rest in warm place 20 minutes. Stir down. Repeat this 2 more times.

Divide dough in half and roll each piece into a rectangular shape about 10-12 inches wide, 18-20 inches long. Roll up jelly roll fashion, shaping as you go (tuck in the ends). Put both loaves side by side, but not touching, on large, greased cookie (jelly roll) sheet.

With sharp knife, make 3 or 4 diagonal cuts across each loaf. If desired, brush with egg white mixture (1 egg white mixed with 1 tsp. cold water) for a golden crust. Sprinkle with sesame seeds if you like.

Cover loosely and let rise another 20 minutes. - Begin pre-heating your oven to 400 degrees.

Bake in 400 degree preheated oven for 16-18 minutes, 20 minutes tops.

These loaves freeze well. We eat 1/2 at a time and freeze the rest (thus the picture of a half loaf). And they make FABULOUS french toast.

1 comment:

  1. Maybe we should call it Fra (brother) instead of Frau (woman)? Otherwise this is the best pasta sauce ever. Thanks so much for making it tonight. A little gesture that made my day.