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Month: April 2012

Jazz Musician George Mesterhazy Remembered

George Mesterhazy

George Mesterhazy. Photograph by Sharon Stabley

It was standing room only at the Middle Township Performing Arts Center Sunday, April 15 as friends and family members  gathered for  a memorial service for jazz musician George Mesterhazy.

Fellow musicians remembered George in fitting tribute. Among them clarinetist Joe Barrett, pianist Barry Miles, bassist Tom Lekan and drummer Bob Shomo who  comprised the group that played jazz on Thursday nights at the Merion Inn, where George played piano when not on the road.   Rev. Kathy Stoner-Lasala and former Cape May resident and vocalist Derrick McQueen offered the invocation and remarks.

San Francisco vocalist Paula West flew in for the service. George collaborated with Paula in recent years. They played several gigs around the country including the Algonquin Hotel in New York. Also in attendance was cabaret singer Paula Johns who played with George off and on for nearly three decades.

George died in his sleep at his home in Cape May. He is survived by his long-time companion Vicki Watson, owner of the Merion Inn; his children: Robert and Tanya Mesterhazy; Ben and Dan Thieberger; their mother and his friend Lisa Thieberger; and his dad, Lajos Mesterhazy.

The music in Cape May died Thursday, April 12 with the sudden passing of jazz musician George Mesterhazy, just days after celebrating his 59th birthday. His loss will be felt for a very long time.

Like so many others, I considered George a good friend. He was a kind and generous soul who dedicated his life to his passion – music.  I cannot think of anyone who had as much influence over the lives of the people who live here and who visit here than George. As one close friend and fellow musician said of him, “Everything that I love about Cape May just died.”

Here at CapeMay.com and Cape May Magazine, our hearts go out to George’s family. We hope that, in time, his music will heal us in our sorrow just as it rejuvenated us in the joy we felt as we walked into the Merion Inn, and before we even turned the corner knew that George was at the piano.

Susan Tischler, editor

For more about George Mesterhazy, read The Man, The Music, The Merion Inn

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=riUK521RWzk

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LCNHUQYOSX8


The Man, The Music, The Merion Inn

The music in Cape May died Thursday, April 12, 2012 with the sudden passing of jazz musician George Mesterhazy, just days after celebrating his 59th birthday. His loss will be felt for a very long time.

The Man, The Music, The Merion Inn - Text by Susan Tischler, Photographs by Sharon Stabley

It’s eight o’clock on a Saturday and the dinner crowd is shuffling in. There’s a man at the bar nursing a tonic and gin, but he pauses when the man at the piano begins.

The man sitting at the baby grand has a silver mane and thick glasses. He bends over the keys playing all the regular songs the diners like to hear, from Lara’s Theme, to Memories to The Lady is a Tramp.

Soon the prospective diners crowd The Merion Inn’s bar until they are standing in front of the piano and the man is obscured – his music the only audible proof of his presence. And it is curious to watch because, on this particular Saturday at the end of June, the diners are not the regular crowd, but mostly tourists who probably don’t even know that the man at the piano is George Mesterhazy. That he accompanied Shirley Horn at Carnegie Hall and the Vienna Opera House in 2003, and again at Lincoln Center in 2004 when she appeared with Ahmad Jamal. That he arranged, played guitar and piano on Horn’s 1997 album Loving You, which received a Grammy nomination, as well as doing the orchestration and piano accompaniment for Horn’s 2003 Grammy nominee album May the Music Never End. And that on Tuesday nights in the summer around 10 o’clock when the dinner rush subsides, he plays what he loves – jazz.

The room George plays in is dark and moody. It would be smokey if that were still allowed. There are a few dining tables placed in front of the baby grand piano. The bar is made of Hondoran mahogany and tiger oak pillars and stained with a cherry veneer. It is reminiscent of another era. Of a time when men wore hats and women gloves. Oil paintings and watercolors cover the walls, most particularly a black and white oil by George Gibbs which hangs on the wall next to where George plays. The paintings, along with stained glass windows and much of the decor was purchased by Warren Watson who took over The Merion Inn in 1970 when he moved Watson’s Restaurant from Wildwood to its Decatur Street location in Cape May.

Vicki Watson took over The Merion Inn in 1992 after her father’s death. She didn’t want to be a restaurateur. She already had a successful law career in Manhattan. As executrix of Warren Watson’s will she tried to abide by her father’s wishes and sell The Merion Inn, but the restaurant was losing so much money by then that there were no takers.

“I couldn’t afford not to run it,” she said. As a daughter, she had more invested in trying to make the restaurant work. Her grandparents, along with her great-grandmother, opened their doors in the 1940s with their own pots and pans from their Philadelphia kitchen.

But the history of The Merion Inn goes back a lot farther than 1970. The Merion Inn occupies the first floor in a large Victorian house, built in 1885 by Patrick Collins as a boarding villa. By 1900, Collins had expanded his business, which he called Collins Café, by serving food, specializing in seafood, whiskey and Milwaukee beer.

Andrew Zillinger, chief steward of the Merion Cricket Club in Philadelphia’s Main Line, bought the inn from Collins in 1905, changing the name to The Merion. Zillinger commissioned the mahogany bar to be built in Germantown, Pennsylvania in 1904 and brought it with him when he purchased The Merion.

The Merion Inn has now been in continuous operation for 122 years. So, how did Vicki, with no background in food preparation, other than that absorbed by the daughter of a restaurateur, turn it around? “The music,” she said simply and without hesitation.

“I was looking for some hook I could use to advertise the place. Everybody always uses the best…as in ‘We have the best seafood, the best steaks.’ The music gave us something to advertise. My brother and I love music and I decided to put a piano in the bar and have a singer Wednesdays and Thursdays. I wanted to give people a reason to keep coming back.”

Vicki brought in Rosemary Benson to sing from time to time. Rosemary used George Mesterhazy as her accompanist. Eventually Mesterhazy became the full-time piano man and brought in his Steinway replacing the $400 piano Vicki originally purchased and costing her two more dinner tables. But the additional revenue from the bar sales paid for the musicians and set The Merion Inn apart from other restaurants in Cape May. Soon, Vicki and George became an item as well. With the music, came a new clientele. Then old timers returned.

When news of George’s Tuesday Night Jazz gig got around town six years ago, locals, tourists and cottagers found themselves drifting in.

At 9 o’clock on a Tuesday night in mid-June, seats at the bar are already filling up. The musicians who will be sitting-in are having dinner at a table in front of the baby grand. George plays a set of Broadway tunes, including Cole Porter and Ira Gershwin hits for the remaining diners and occasionally talks to the musicians.

Tim Lekan, a Tuesday night regular, will be on bass; Bobby Shomo on drums; and Paul Jost on vocals. When they start to set-up, one wonders where they’ll fit all this equipment – a full set of drums; a stand-up bass, including a quiver for the bow; and a mike for the singer. But like a well executed stage set, a table is removed. A drum set comes together. The mike goes behind the drums, and the bass player hugs the piano.

An empty seat is open at the far end of the bar nearer the dining rooms and farther away from the piano. Esther is sitting at the bar. She has already had dinner and thinks she should leave, but wants to stay and hear the combo. She is from New York and was supposed to come down to Cape May with her friend, Annette Sanders. Annette is a jazz singer – “Correction,” George says later, “Annette is an outstanding jazz singer.” George surely would have asked her to sit in with the band for a song or two, but a death in the family prevented Annette from coming down. Esther came anyway. She watches as a photographer tries to capture the mood of the room, which is happy, energetic and filled with the anticipation of a new summer about to begin. The room is a nice mix of both locals and tourists. The diners have pretty much vacated the white linen-clad tables, and are sitting, listening with an intensity usually reserved for the theater.

Jost sings scat and the music is smooth. The scene has the feel of a New York basement night club, but patrons are not dressed in high-tone black, but rather casual, colorful seashore tones.

The first set ends. The musicians talk music until the second set begins.

The next Tuesday, the musicians’ table is mostly a different mix. Tim Lekan, as usual, will be on bass. Another regular, Barry Miles will be on drums. George, says Barry, is actually a world-renowned jazz pianist who often accompanied Roberta Flack. He was a child prodigy on both the piano and drums. Sometimes George likes to switch with Barney and let him play piano, while George takes the drums. Alto saxophone player Dr. Bob Rawlins, another frequent visitor, will be sitting in tonight. Also joining the combo is a 20-something trumpet player by the name of John Barnes, a protégée of Dr. Bob, who heads the music department at Rowan University, where George teaches in the winter. And when they set up, the trumpet player leans against the wall near the piano leading out to the Decatur Room. The sax player stands close to George and the bass player stands close to the piano.

It’s a different crowd tonight, some locals, mostly out-of-towners. Gigi and Dave, visiting from New York, sit next to Sal. Their daughter goes to college in New Orleans and they’ve become jazz fans. They were surprised last summer when they booked a dinner reservation at The Merion and discovered George at the piano. Mary Carrington from Syracuse, New York, is a piano teacher and a frequent visitor to Cape May.

When the combo starts playing, the listeners are again transported to a smoke-filled New York nightclub. Sometimes in a bar people talk over the musicians and never hear the music, it being background for their conversations. No one talks at The Merion. If they do, it is in hushed tones, the way you would whisper at a classical concert. A different photographer is taking pictures of the musicians, with their permission, while they play, and the listening patrons express their discontent with the intrusion. The audience politely applauds for each soloist

At the break, George, Dr. Bob and Tim talk music. They talk about excellence in chords, synchronicity, bridges, A-flat versus A-flat minor and when they begin the second set, they play a version of Ray Henderson’s Bye Bye Blackbird that bows the heads of those listening.
The crowd at the July 3rd Tuesday Night Jazz session is mostly local. Anyone who has lived in town for a few years could easily go around the bar and name everyone there –Cape May is just that small a town. There’s a city councilman (a restaurateur himself} sitting at the bar with his pretty wife. Sal is wearing a Hawaiian shirt and an Indiana Jones hat this week, and taking up the corner of the bar next to a prominent businesswoman and guesthouse owner. A couple of regulars are seated at the end and talking across the bar to Sal.

It is standing room only, going all the back to the far dining room. The only seats left are in the corner by the bar under the oil painting. The painting is of a gondola. Before Warren bought it, it hung in the Old Lafayette Hotel, now the Marquis de Lafayette on Beach Avenue. Its sister, according to Vickie, is hanging in an insurance office a few blocks away. There is a hole in the bottom of the canvas. Talk around town was that it was a bullet hole. No, said Vicki. Her brother Eric poked a hole in it with his guitar one night.

Looking at the chairs under the painting, one would say – no one could ever fit into this corner, those seats will go empty. And yet, three of the slimmest, blond women in town manage to somehow magically fit right into them as though it were a custom fit.

The trio playing tonight is comprised of George’s core guys – Tim Lekan on bass; Barry Miles on drums. The busy chatter dies down and when they play the music is so smooth, it is hypnotic. By 11 o’clock, they were cookin’. Body and Soul and What a Difference a Day Makes end the set, and everyone in that room knows they are listening to musical excellence for the cost of a cocktail.

How does he do it? How can The Merion afford so many musicians? What determines how many will play or when they will play?

“Basically,” said George, “I save up my tips from playing the dinner crowd, and that’s how I manage it. If I get some good tips, I can bring in more guys.”

On any given night when dinner is being served, or jazz night is about to begin, the regulars – be they locals or visitors – glance over as they walk into the bar to see if the man with the silver mane is at the piano. Then they look up to see who the familiar face is behind the bar – Cody, Carol, or John. Vicki’s brother Eric used to bartend but is taking the summer off this year. They thank Betty, Richard, or Janis as they are ushered to their seat and glance up to see if Vicki is in the room, because coming to The Merion Inn isn’t like coming into a restaurant, it’s like coming home.


The Easter Stroll – A Hopping Success


Cape May’s Easter Fashion Stroll held on the Washington Street Mall was conducted under bright sunny skies. Approximately 85 contestants paraded in their Easter finery before more than 500 spectators. The event sponsored by the City of Cape May, the Washington Street Mall Merchants, Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts, Our Lady Star of the Sea Church Parish and the Fudge Kitchen. A variety of gifts and award ribbons were provided by the Washington Street Mall Management Association, the City of Cape May and The Original Fudge Kitchen. Mayor Dr. Edward J. Mahaney, Jr. served as Master of Ceremonies.

Category A – Ages 3 & Under

Girls 1st Place – Lillie McCurdy

Girls 2nd Place – Audrey Zhelyazkova            Girls 3rd Place – Sariah Frechetti

Boys 1st Place – Aiden Mangana

Boys 2nd Place – Matthew Mastalski     Boys 3rd Place – Gavin Bailey

Category B – Ages 4 to 6

Girls 1st Place – Brynn Brophy

Girls 2nd Place – Olivia Orton             Girls 3rd Place – Calleigh Doyle

Boys 1st Place – James Haney

Boys 2nd Place – Logan Burice                  Boys 3rd Place – Riley McKenzie

Category C – Ages 7 to 9

Girls 1st Place – Amanda Moran

Girls 2nd Place – Elise Heim                Girls 3rd Place – Alexandra Bruno

Boys 1st Place – Robert Elwell

Boys 2nd Place – Jack Sheehan                     Boys 3rd Place – Griffin Schargel

Category D – Ages 10 to 12

Girls 1st Place – Reilly Sheehan

Girls 2nd Place -Tied – Hillary Turner         Girls 3rd Place – Hollie Turner

Boys 1st Place – Patrick Walther                     Boys 2nd Place – Patrick Frechette

Category E – Ages 13 & Over

Girls 1st Place – Sarah Walter             Boys 1st Place – Matt Scharsel

Category F – Best Dressed Lady

1st Place – Florence Carter      2nd Place – Shirley Stiles         3rd Place – Tracey Martin

Category F – Best Dressed Man

1st Place – Tim Spence            2nd Place- Tim Cronin

Category G – Best Dressed Couple

1st Place – Joe & Tamara Haney

2nd Place – Kevin & Eileen Lynch      3rd Place – Tim & Mary Spence

 

Category G – Best Dressed Family

1st Place – Frechette Family

2nd Place – Joe Haney Family     3rd Place – Walther Jackson Family

 

Easter Bonnet

1st Place – Olivia Ortan

2nd Place – Shirley Stiles          3rd Place – fuchsia hat, didn’t give name


Back to Nature: The Trucksess Welcome Center

Weddings at the Trucksess Welcome Center  - Cape May Nature Center weddings

If you’re the type of woman who loves setting trends, do I have a wedding scoop for you! You might recognize the Trucksess Welcome Center at the Nature Center of Cape May. This structure stands along the harbor and offers gorgeous views of the water and passing boats from its observation deck and three-story lookout tower. And get this – it’s never been used for a wedding. That’s right, at the time of this writing, no one has ever said “I do” in this location, and we think that’s a shame. So allow us to tell you why we think the Trucksess Center may be perfect for your small-ish destination wedding.

The Nature Center is no stranger to parties. They host Harborfest annually, a weekend celebration of the sea. The Center also allows birthday parties on site, so they’re used to groups. On the center grounds, they have 12 picnic tables and a large grassy area where you can set up a tent (up to 30′ by 50′) for dinner or dancing. The second floor observation deck offers the perfect spot for cocktail hour, and you can’t beat the panoramic view of the harbor at night once the sun sets! Inside is a lounge, with windows overlooking the water.

cape may outdoor weddings - cape may harbor view weddings

This is a great spot for a nature-loving family, and your guests won’t be bored if there’s downtime, since they can explore between the ceremony and reception. The center offers loaner binoculars guests can use to birdwatch, or your guests can explore the center’s themed gardens (butterfly, hummingbird, seaside, drought-tolerant, shade, and songbird) and indoor aquaria, featuring local marine life. Seasonally, there is a songbird feeding station.

On the downside, there is limited on-site parking, but street parking is available. You might consider renting a trolley and having your guests picked up at their Cape May hotels. You’ll also need to work with a caterer, but there are many available locally.

For more information, visit New Jersey Audubon. And if you have your wedding at the Trucksess Center, we want to know about it!  cape may wedding ideas


Barbara Heim is MAC Volunteer of the Month for April


Barbara Heim of North Cape May, N.J. is the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC) Volunteer of the Month for April 2012. MAC’s Chief Outreach Officer Mary Stewart nominated Heim for her many years of volunteer work and leadership in MAC’s volunteer program, and for helping spearhead one of MAC’s most successful initiatives – the Volunteer of the Month award. “She has volunteered for every Designer Show House and Christmas Candlelight Tour – just about every time we need her,” said Stewart. “She never says ‘no.'” Heim recently retired from the MAC board after nine years of outstanding service, for which she received the 2011 MAC Honor Award. Heim said she joined MAC as a way of getting involved in the Cape May community, and found a community of friends in the process. She recommends volunteering to anyone who is interested in making friends, learning about Cape May, or utilizing their talents. MAC has come to mean a great deal to her, she said. The Volunteer of the Month award is given to a person who demonstrates a high degree of dedication, commitment and constancy to MAC’s volunteer program. For more information on volunteer opportunities, please contact Barbara Hubmaster at 609-884-5404, ext. 109, or email bhubmaster@capemaymac.org


Fun For Everyone at the Cape May Dog Park

You are visiting Cape May with your dog and you want the vacation to be a great one for everyone. You can visit the dog friendly beaches, which are just a short drive away, but you can also visit the Cape May Dog Park, which is right in town!

Cape May dog park

Photo courtesy Debbie J Hudson

They say a tired dog is a happy dog, and I’m sure you feel like me – happy dog(s), happy me. And, everyone else we’re traveling with! At the beach you must keep your dog leashed. I use long leads so my two fur balls can go swimming in the bay without dragging me out, and it allows me to “reel them in” in case they get distracted by a bird or something and go out too far for me to retrieve them easily in the event of any trouble. At the dog park you can let your dog “off leash”!

The dog park is a great way for your dog to get much needed and enjoyed exercise and a great way for your dog to socialize with other dogs – just like we socialize at Yappy Hour at the Billmae Cottage.

Before you go with your dog(s), you may want to visit or drive by a few times just to check out the facility and to see how busy the park is at the time you’d be interested in going. Try to avoid the highest heat of the day, since your dog(s) will be running, playing, socializing, etc. and there is no shade except in the gazebo. There is running water so you can provide your dog(s) with fresh water, so you may want to bring bowls rather than sharing a bowl.

Be sure to familiarize yourself with the dog park rules. It’s important to follow all rules for the safety, health, and happiness of all dogs and their people, too. Passes to the Cape May Dog Park are available to City Hall during the week, and at Swain’s Hardware Store on weekends.

Here are a few suggestions to help insure that your dog(s), you, and everyone else be get the best and most enjoyable experience while at the Cape May Dog Park.

NEVER LEAVE YOUR DOG UNATTENDED. You always want to clean up after your dog, so you must be attentive to your dog in order to clean up right away and for the safety of your dog(s) and all others in the park. Cape May Dog Park has waste bag dispensers and trash cans for your convenience. And, running water to help in clean up if needed.

Make sure your dog is current on all shots. You will have to show proof of rabies vaccination and licensing when you go for a dog park pass. This is the case in all dog parks, again for the safety of all of the dogs and their people. Young puppies, younger than 4 months, should not be taken to any dog park since they would not have all of the necessary vaccinations due to their young age.

There are some toys and balls in the dog park left by others, but it’s not generally a good idea to bring toys with you since not all dogs “share” well. If you must bring a toy, make it a tennis ball for fetch which you can afford to lose, and be prepared to do just that!

Do not allow your dog to “hump” or otherwise dominate another dog. Dogs spayed or neutered are generally best in a dog park, but never bring a female in heat if not spayed!

Cape May Dog Park has a double gated entry, so keep your dog leashed until you are in the first enclosure and ALL gates are closed securely. You may then unleash your dog and enter for general park area. If you feel more comfortable, take your dog in to “say hello” before unleashing. This shows respect for the other dogs and their people, and it’s safer for your dog.

Please don’t smoke or eat while at the dog park. Cigarette butts, candy wrappers, etc. are enticing and dangerous for the 4-legged one.

If your dog gets over excited, play rough, and/or gets unruly – leash and leave right away. This is better for your dog, and better for all other dogs and their people. This shows that you are respecting the others, shows your dog that behavior counts, and will make others happier to see you on return.

As long as you follow the rules and respect others, you and your dog(s) will have a wonderful vacation which includes visits to the Cape May Dog Park. Have Fun!

The dog park is on Lafayette Street, near the corner of Broad. Passes are available at City Hall. Please call the city Clerk’s office at 609-884-9525 or visit them on the second floor!

IvanGood Read Recommendation of the Month

IVAN – A Pound Dog’s View on Life, Love, and Leashes by Tim McHugh.

Ivan is special and so is his story. Filled with humor, insight, philosophy, and spirituality, Ivan tells a wonderful story of life, love, learning, and understanding. More than worth the read and your purchase of this book contributes to assisting animal rescue associations to support their efforts in protecting and caring for animals. You’ll want to own it and share it!


Perfecting Pasta

perfecting pasta - homemade pasta recipes

Some foods just get taken for granted. Some items are so readily available why inflict aggravation on ourselves by making it from scratch? In that question lies the difference between those who eat to live and those who live to eat. A passion for food allows you to notice the subtle differences between a homemade product made with love and that which is mass produced in a factory. Pasta is one of those foods. We have become too accustomed to the mass-produced version. Fresh pasta is simple to make and brings that soul-satisfying fulfillment that is only achieved by making something with your own hands.

In its simplest form, homemade pasta dough can be made with just oil, water, salt, and flour. Like any craft project, the more you delve into making pasta the more complex your creations can become. The quality of the ingredients does make a difference. However, basic serviceable dough can be achieved with the all-purpose flour found in most every kitchen cupboard. Kitchen stores and magazines will try and tell you need the latest chrome-coated 50 horsepower pasta maker with variable speeds and a flashing timer. Tell that to the legions of Italian Nona’s that have been rolling out exquisite tender pastas for years. All you need is some counter space, a rolling pin, a knife and the two hands you were born with. If you already have a table-top mixer and a pizza cutter, use them. These items will ease some of the labor, but none of the joy of your finished product.

To make the dough, sift the flour and salt, onto a clean work surface. Work the oil and water, or eggs, into the flour and keep working until the dough comes together in a ball. Resist the temptation to add more liquid or flour. Using a mixer will shorten the process and reduce the risk of P.A.C.T.S, Pasta-Attributed Carpal Tunnal Syndrome. After getting the dough together, it is time to let the dough and your arms rest. This is a good time to prepare your sauce or have a cocktail. I usually opt for both. Many pasta shapes can be produced without fancy machines including, fettuccine, linguine, farfalle, and orchiette. The shapes can be lightly dried or cooked fresh. Boiling salted water, no oil, is all that is needed to cook your noodles. Fresh pasta cooks much faster than dried, so have a strainer and your sauce ready to go before dropping the pasta in the water. When tender (about 3-5 minutes), depending on shape and thickness, toss lightly with sauce and enjoy.

Here are two basic dough recipes and two quick simple sauces. Find the joy in making your own pasta. The effort will be realized by the taste on the end of your fork. Until next month, Bon Appétit.

Basic Pasta Dough

  • 2 cups flour
  • 3 large eggs
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  1. Sift flour and salt onto board. Make a well in center.
  2. Add eggs and oil. Incorporate eggs with fork.
  3. Roll up sleeves and knead by hand until dough comes together. Continue kneading about 7 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic.
  4. Wrap in plastic. Refrigerate to rest 1 hour.
  5. Return dough to board. Cut in half. Roll each half into 1/8” thick sheets. Cut into thin strips for linguine, wide strips for fettuccine.

Semolina Dough

  • 1½ cups bread flour
  • 1 cup semolina
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • Pinch salt
  1. Make as above or put dry ingredients in mixer with dough hook attachment.
  2. While on low speed incorporate remaining ingredients until dough comes together.
  3. Mix on medium five minutes.
  4. Wrap in plastic. Refrigerate 1 hour.
  5. Return dough to board. Cut in half. Roll each half into 1/8” thick sheets. Cut into thin strips for linguine, wide strips for fettuccine.

Broccoli and Olive Oil Sauce

  • 3 cups cooked pasta
  • 2 cups broccoli florettes
  • 6 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons minced anchovies
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup Locatelli cheese
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  1. In large sauté pan, heat oil. Sauté garlic, anchovies and red pepper over high heat.
  2. Add in broccoli and butter. Cook until broccoli is tender but still crisp.
  3. Toss in pasta with a splash of water. Toss with cheese and serve with crusty bread and a glass of wine.

Quick Fresh Tomato Basil Sauce

  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 diced Roma tomatoes
  • ½ an onion, minced
  • ¼ cup red wine
  • Salt and pepper
  • ½ cup fresh basil leaves
  • 3 tablespoons parmesan
  1. In sauce pan, heat oil and sweat garlic and onion until tender 3-5 minutes
  2. Add red wine and tomatoes
  3. Cook five minutes, adding a little pasta cooking water if needed.
  4. Add basil and cheese. Toss with pasta.