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We are so fortunate that Lidia Bastianich opened a restaurant here in Pittsburgh, one of the few that we've been to repeatedly even though we don't actually eat out that often. We just ate out there with the whole family on Father's Day, as a matter of fact and everything was wonderful.

I agree that putting tomatoes through the food mill does sound tedious, and a bit difficult, as they aren't as soft as cooked apples which is the only other thing I routinely put through my food mill. But your delicious sauce looks like it was worth the effort.

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"Can't ... put your finger" on why we like Jamie Oliver? Brilliant! I think it is OK to share that you have had a crush on him since way back when. I heartily endorse the marinara. Do keep the lid on the processor though - otherwise it's John Waters meets Freddy Krueger.


Oh, the picture looks so gorgeous. I'll have to try this soon. I haven't yet tried an herb-less tomato sauce, but I think it's time.

Food Channel is virtually unwatchable for me these days. It surprises my family that I don't ever watch it when I'm at my mom's--they seem to expect it of me. But after a while without it (no cable at my place), the only presence I can tolerate is Michael Chiarello. And I didn't like him at first at all.

I need to "chek my local listings" and figure out when Lidia's show is on. I rarely seem to actually catch a PBS cooking show, and when I do, it's been BBQ U, which kind of annoys the hell out of me.

Miz S

I don't even OWN a food mill. Can't I just use the food processor for the tomatoes? Or can't I just buy a jar of Prego?


HA! i saw that on sunday too and had to convince the boyfriend to run around the corner with me to the best little italian joint in the Lower East Side b/c i HAD to have marinara RIGHT NOW!
i am like Mike, i too will eat marinara, or actually anything tomato-y straight from the pot/jar/whatever
i swear i have a lycopene difficency!
your version looks both beautiful and delicious!!


The color of the sauce is wonderful! I love to see freshly made tomato sauce with that vivid hue. Perfect.


Tomato sauce is my favorite thing. I like it better than chocolate, but I don't like carrots in it. Can you explain why so many recipes require carrots?


Jamie Oliver is great. Cannot wait till he cooks for his mistress on a future show after his wife gets sick of him never being home with the 2 babies.
Sandra Lee, she is being divorced by her rich husband. I hope she uses the money to go to Eatzi's.
If I wanted her to throw cool whip on an angel food cake for me I would go to Safeway and watch.
Sandra does thrill me when she serves alcohol at every function whether that function starts at 8 am or not.Last but not least, I do love my Paula Deen. I never make her stuff but her devotion to butter makes me laugh.
Miz S., I have an extra food mill and you are welcome to it. Prego is very yummy too. Keep cooking ladies. As always, you inspire me.


I USED to watch a lot of stuff on the Food Network-it has gone mostly horrible, I agree.

When I first saw S. Lee I really truly thought the show was a satire, and meant to be funny. She manages to take highly processed food, and makes it worse, with what seems to be considerable effort.Example- rolling out individual Kraft caramels into circles , fitting them into mini-muffin pans, and filling them with some god-awful concoction.

Like Rebecca, I live in Pittsburgh, and so have access to Lidia's lovely restaurant. I also don't eat out much, but tend to pick Lidia's when I want a treat. It is a lovely place to go to celebrate-festive and delicious, non gimmicky, inspired food.

Your sauce looks delicious, and so does the pasta.

From Our Kitchen

Lidia and Jamie are two of my favorite tv chefs too. Jamie is so cute and fun and Lidia makes amazing italian food. I bet her sauce is really great.


Jamie, I love him. I haven´t even seen more than a couple of his shows, but he´s infectious. You can´t help but grin back.
I agree about the vanilla pods and the herbs, though. The man is a little over the top.
"Jamie´s dinners" is quite a sensible book, for all that.


Rebecca, I've always wondered how Lidia ended up with a restaurant in Pittsburgh. You're lucky to have it and I'm just a little bit envious.

DFO, I don't think it's a crush. I'm fond of him. I feel motherly even. Yet irritated. I want to say things like, "what the hell is wrong with you, getting the babysitter all liquored up?" Or, "who the hell puts grated orange rind and vanilla on popcorn?"

littlebouffe, I am not familiar with BBQ U but it sounds like a show that belongs on the Food Network. I guess even PBS has its dogs.

Miz S, step away from the Prego. I repeat, step away from the Prego.

Ann, that sounds healthy. You will probably never have a lycopene deficiency. I wish my cravings involved such healthy things.

Sher, it is a vivid hue, isn't it? I like the colors too.

Angela, I can't believe that you like tomato sauce better than chocolate. That's so healthy. The carrot is in the sauce to add sweetness and another layer of flavor but if you don't like tomato sauce with carrot, don't make it that way. One of the great things about cooking is that you can make food exactly the way you want it.

Bets, perhaps she'll be divorcing him for always having a television camera in his kitchen. Or liquoring up the babysitter.

Lindy, I can't remember what Sandra Lee was making when I first saw her show (and I'd never heard of her before that moment) but I also had a moment of wondering if it was a parody. Sadly, it seems to be for real.

FoK, Jamie is cute, and he's very enthusiastic. BTW, I forgot to say it in my comment but that picture of the buttermilk raspberry cake in front of the window is gorgeous.

Ximena, I have never really checked out Jamie Oliver's books. I'll have to do so. Is there a version of the Food Network in Spain?


I agree with what you have said about Food Network. I have been watching forever and have seen them come and go. I don't know where they go, their names are still there. Sandra, forget it, have never made anything she shows. It is already made you just arrange it with different things. Maybe she should just open a bar and be a bar-maid. Like everyone goes out to re-make their room into a matching set-up. Right, I do good to get the food on the table. Who has time to shop around all day for a decor theme??? Food is expensive let alone all the extra's.
The Food Network has too many people on it and Paula Dean's boys are now going to have a show? Anyone can drive around and taste food, what is that? They should bring in Mr. Food. Now he is good. Have used many of his recipes.
Good Eats is a waste of time.
Now they are starting to have everyone on the road. What next, Road kill made right?
What is with Rachael? How many shows can you take with her? E.V.O.O.
Jamie, under any name, I want to be able to watch and cook something and I can't understand him. For me a waste of time and his nails should be cleaned out at least once a month. Sorry but he looks dirty.
Emeril, don't feel sorry for him, he has more money than the government of many small countries.
Food Network is not what it was and many of the "stars" recipes are getting old, with just a different twist here and there, they use them over and over again.
Paula I keep waiting for the day I hear she is in the hospital with a butter attack. She should have a pitcher of melted butter there she can make drinks out of, or just bottoms up the way it is. She has been known to drink the butter you know. She should take off the jewelry, she talks about her humble beginnings but wants the camers to zoom in to show all the jewelry, get over it, just because you never had it when you were young you don't need to shove it in our faces now that you have it. It's a cooking show or I would watch Joan Rivers sell her jewelry.

Gloria Natale

I love Lidia and have learned so much from her shows. I am fortunate to live in the Pittsburg
area where we enjoy her restaurant often.
Many Italians start out with sofrito--finely minced celery
onion and carrot...same as mire poix...I prefer to do the sauce with veal meatballs...I think veal does something great to sauce and of course, homemade pasta.

Janet Brown

I'm sorry but Food Network (sorry Alton Brown!) started going downhill when they stopped showing the original Iron Chef shows (Japanese, translated into English). They are truly unique and more like watching a sport rather than a cooking show. Great opening theme!
Lidia is my PBS favorite chef. I love your characterization of her: "calm and non-manic presence in front of the camera". I LOVE her show! And I simply love it when she makes this simple sauce again and again. Just a few days ago she was making it and she used fresh basil and handfuls of freshly grated parmesan. My mouth was watering!


I too have a hard time watching food network shows. Alex's day off if one of the few I do enjoy. The rest are old and tired. The new ones grate my nerves. As usual, things that are working have to be 'fixed' and the Foodnetwork is rolling downhill.
Lidia, I adore her shows because I feel like part of her family and of course I love Rick Bayless. I drive by Frontera on a regular basis and admire what he has accomplished. Getting ready to move to Missouri and will try Lidia's Kansas City soon.

just my humble opinion

FOOD NETWORK STARS are getting ridiculous! I am sick of most of them now hawking olive oil, pans, books, and becoming marketing machines. They are movie stars now. F.N. needs new blood. They are now all boring and predictable. I got to admit Sandra Lee's cooking is my least favorite followed closely by Rachel Ray. However, I love to see Sandra's tables-scapes. I agree about Lidia. She may be a marketing her products, but I love her sense of family homestyle cooking. Her grand kids are adorable. She seems authentic and so is her cooking.

There is a new network person I am tuning into now: Marcela V- Easy Mexican Cuisine. Finally a real Mexican cooking real Mexican food. (No disrespect to Bayless. I love him and his family outings.) I've tried out more recipes from her than the whole Food Network Chefs combine.

Favorite Recipes from the past shows which are now staples in my cooking: I.Garten-pecan shortbread cookies. T. Florence: Mac & Cheese. Emeril: His homemade essence. Bayless: Shrimp adobe (eat with watercress!)
Marcela: chilaquiles tomatillo salsa, mole, pasilla potato salad, leg of lamb, chocoflan, jalapeno buttered corn; fish tacos, and more.

The best thing on food network that no longer shows is the Japanese Iron Chef. I miss Sakai.

Food Network is really Food Notworking.


That has to be the best definition for the Food Network! Food Network is really Food Notworking. I have tuned over to PBS cooking shows as well.

June Lockerbaugh

I can't help but wonder how Lydia, Jamie, Rick Steves or any other personality to acquire a T.V. show or open that many restaurants in U.S.A.
My family also ran businesses for years but never got T.V. offers to show their talents.
It seems only the 'well connected' make it big in U.S.A using media connections thus exponentially building their families' wealth.
It would seem there is a tendency in this country for people to jump on the bandwagon to financially support famous T.V. personalities which tend to help these people to generate more wealth for themselves and their families. It may be best for individuals to promote themselves and their own families first rather than other individuals who have been given such 'lucky' breaks in their connections thus continuing their expansions of wealth through books, utensils, dvds, guest appearances, their own T.V. shows, etc!
How many of you have great family recipes which you could publish for all to use?
Suggest you work on getting those connections in law, business and T.V. first.


lL6MG8 Cool! That's a clever way of looking at it!

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