We’re excited to introduce a new contributor here at 365Barrington.com with this week’s Heinen’s Sunday Supper. Professional photographer and BHS Class of 2010 alum, Aimee Mazzenga grew up in North Barrington and she is just beginning life as a newlywed after her May wedding. Family dinners with her parents and siblings are among Aimee’s most cherished memories. And she’s loving every minute of carrying on that tradition with her husband Jonny in their new home.
Heinen’s Grocery gave Aimee a gift card to prepare a special meal with Jonny. She’s inviting us to their dinner table this weekend with a series of stunning photographs, a few favorite recipes and her personal reflections on cooking-for-two and the significance of Sunday Suppers…
One Sunday Afternoon
by Aimee Mazzenga, Heinen’s Shopper, Photographer & Newlywed
As a very new wife, I have loved the new opportunity to create space around our table for not only our friends and family but just for Jonny and I too. There are few things that fill me more than cooking for people I love. After busy, long work days Jonny and I sit at our table and unwind together. We talk for hours about the nuances of our days and dream about who we want to become. These are some of my favorites moments that happen around the table. I am so thankful that I married a man who holds this value as firmly as I do. He is such a gift to me.
Family dinners, or “Sunday Suppers” have always been important to my family. Among countless other wisdom, my mom taught me how sacred time around the table is. As a little girl, I loved this time around the table with the whole family. They are some of my richest memories. My mom tells a story of me as a 9-year-old girl; we were on vacation and, for the the third night in a row, my mom was making plans about where to go to eat and I started crying and said, “I just want to have dinner around the table!” It was then that my mom realized the value I had as just a 9 year old for family dinners and time at the table. So today as I create my own home, I share my family’s value that time around the table is deeply meaningful.
We believe time around the table is sacred time to nourish our bodies as well as our souls. Time with friends and family around the table is a time to say – You matter, we care about you, we want to celebrate who you are and we want to walk this life with you. During our years of dating, we hosted countless dinner parties, birthday parties and gatherings of friends at our own apartments or parents’ homes. Since getting married only 1 month ago, on May 9th, 2015, Jonny and I have felt so excited to finally have a table of our own where we can welcome friends and family.
Jonny works as an Art Director and Music Composer. He composes the most beautiful music and directs amazing designs. His talent is out of this world. I work as a photographer. Between our two artistic minds we also love to create beautiful tables and beautiful spaces. The aesthetic of an environment is everything to us. We hope to create table spreads and living rooms that foster life, openness and safety for our friends and family to come and just be. Here is a Sunday Supper in our home –
Cheese Board – Our Recipe
Our “go to” is always cheese and wine, on picnics or for an afternoon snack. So, on a sunny Sunday afternoon we made a big cheese board to enjoy as we cooked and talked.
There is no recipe to follow, we just picked some of our favorite cheeses– Parmesan, Les Chateaux De France Brie and Meadow Creek Farm Appalachian. We paired our cheeses with Starborough 2011 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc which has some amazing refreshing grapefruit citrus notes. Its a perfect summer wine. We also paired garlic stuffed green olives, red grapes, pear, Fire Hook Sea Salt Baked Crackers, Ina Garten’s Rosemary Roasted Almonds, sage from our garden, dried apricots, prosciutto and a crusty baguette with our cheese.
Summer Garden Pasta, Recipe by Ina Garten adapted by me
For our lighter main course, I took Ina Garten’s Summer Garden Pasta and adapted it to make more of aglio e olio sauce. I used her ingredients but instead of putting cold tomatoes over the pasta, I sauteed the tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes and salt. I then added about 1/4 cup of the starchy pasta water to my olive oil sauce. I let that simmer for about 3 minutes and then added my pasta to the pan. We used Ohio City Angel Hair Pasta from Heinens. It is made fresh and only takes 45 seconds to cook. It was delicious. After adding the pasta to the pan I sautéed it for a few more minutes so the pasta could absorb some of the sauce. Once plated, I garnished it with parmesan cheese and basil. I served the Summer Garden Pasta with an arugula and cucumber salad with balsamic. We paired our pasta with Cusumano Nero D’Avola which is a delicious, plummy red wine.
4 pints cherry tomatoes, halved
Good olive oil
2 tablespoons minced garlic (6 cloves)
18 large basil leaves, julienned, plus extra for serving
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound dried angel hair pasta
1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving for serving
Combine the cherry tomatoes, 1/2 cup olive oil, garlic, basil leaves, red pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon salt, and the pepper in a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, and set aside at room temperature for about 4 hours.
Just before you’re ready to serve, bring a large pot of water with a splash of olive oil and 2 tablespoons salt to a boil and add the pasta. Cook al dente according to the directions on the package (be careful – it only takes 2 to 3 minutes!). Drain the pasta well and add to the bowl with the cherry tomatoes. Add the cheese and some extra fresh basil leaves and toss well. Serve in big bowls with extra cheese on each serving.
2006, Barefoot Contessa at Home, All Rights Reserved
Better Homes and Gardens Berry Pie + The Perfect Pie Crust by Ina Garten
For Dessert, I made a blueberry pie. Its one of my favorites recipes that I have made a million times. I put the lowest amount of sugar in the pie so you can taste the tart blueberry flavor. I add cinnamon but you can also use lemon. I typically make a lattice pie because I just love the way it looks. Being a newlywed and not having quite having all my cooking tools yet I opted to make this pie in a cast iron skillet because I realized I didn’t have a pie plate! But it might be my new thing, it makes a beautiful, deep, rustic blueberry pie. I cooked it at 400 degrees instead for about 45 minutes until bubbly and lightly browned but cooking temps will vary based on your oven.
Ingredients for The Perfect Pie Crust
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) very cold unsalted butter
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1/3 cup very cold vegetable shortening
6 to 8 tablespoons (about 1/2 cup) ice water
Dice the butter and return it to the refrigerator while you prepare the flour mixture. Place the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse a few times to mix. Add the butter and shortening. Pulse 8 to 12 times, until the butter is the size of peas. With the machine running, pour the ice water down the feed tube and pulse the machine until the dough begins to form a ball. Dump out on a floured board and roll into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Cut the dough in half. Roll each piece on a well-floured board into a circle, rolling from the center to the edge, turning and flouring the dough to make sure it doesn’t stick to the board. Fold the dough in half, place in a pie pan, and unfold to fit the pan. Repeat with the top crust.
Copyright 2002, Barefoot Contessa Family Style, All Rights Reserved
Ingredients for the BHG Berry Pie
5 cups of blueberries
2/3 to 3/4 cup of sugar
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Prepare and roll out pie dough. Line a 9-inch pie plate with half of the pastry
In a large bowl combine the sugar and flour for blueberries. Stir in berries and cinnamon. Gently toss berries until coated. (If using frozen fruit, let mixture stand for 45 minutes or until fruit is partially thawed, but still icy.)
Transfer berry mixture to the pastry-lined pie plate. Trim bottom pastry edge of pie plate. Cut slits in remaining pastry; place on filling and seal. Crimp edge as desired.
If desired, brush top crust with milk and sprinkle with additional sugar. To prevent overbrowning, cover edge of pie with foil. Bake in a 375 degree F oven for 25 minutes (or 50 minutes for frozen fruit). Remove foil. Bake pie for 25 to 30 minutes more or until filling is bubbly and top is golden. Cool on a wire rack. Makes 8 servings.
Heinen’s Grocery is located at 500 N. Hough Street, between E. Main Street and Route 14 (next to Meathead’s) in Barrington, Illinois. They’re open 7 days a week from 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. For more information, visit Heinens.com.