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Recipes & Entertaining Ideas

Filtering by Tag: Tomatoes

Linda's Tomato Salad

Marc J. Sievers

One of my dearest friends, Linda Marie Clark, lives in California and is an award-winning photographer and exceptional watercolor artist.  She also happens to be an amazing cook!  We met about four years ago after she found my cookbook on Amazon.com and started painting my recipes.   It was so incredibly flattering, especially considering her talent!

Having chatted with her for a few months via email at first then telephone, I decided to invite her to Chicago for a visit.  And now, a few years later, we talk every few days, we started a stationary line together, and our friendship has blossomed.

Linda loves to photograph in her garden in California.  A few weeks back she sent me a text with a photo of a beautiful salad she made after a visit to her local farmers market.  It was filled with fresh tomatoes, sweet corn, and spicy basil!  She also captured the moment perfectly at sunset in her garden.  Her photograph (and salad!) was just too stunning not to share with you!  Linda’s Tomato Salad has made it onto my table three times already this summer and is always a crowd-pleaser!

Happy Summer!


Linda's Tomato Salad

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • Sweet Corn – 2 ears, shucked

  • Heirloom Tomatoes – 1 ½ pounds, 1-inch cubes

  • Basil – ¾ cup, rough chopped

  • Olive Oil – ½ cup

  • Balsamic Vinegar – ¼ cup

  • Sea Salt – ¾ teaspoon

  • Black Pepper – ¾ teaspoon

  • Parmesan Cheese – ¾ cup, large shavings, Parmigiano-Reggiano recommended

Directions

  1. Bring a large sauce pan filled with water to a boil. Add the ears of corn and cook for just 3 minutes. Remove the corn for the water and cut the kernels off the cob.

  2. Next, arrange the cubed tomatoes down the center of a serving platter. Scatter the corn evenly onto the tomatoes.

  3. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle evenly with basil, salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese.

  4. Serve alongside a basket of crusty bread.

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Pesto & Arugula Pasta Salad

Marc J. Sievers

There is something so satisfying about making a big batch of really good pasta salad.  It can be so simple, just a few tosses of fresh ingredients while the pasta is hot, and you have an easy and incredibly flavorful dish.  I will admit that pasta salads were not my favorite as a kid—they always seemed to taste bland, and like the refrigerator.  No good!  But I have since solved the flavor challenge.

This recipe actually came about from a recent trip to Hawaii.  Ryan and I were visiting our best friends for a milestone birthday.  But, the day we were flying back to Chicago, they both got stuck at work.  Before we let ourselves out of their apartment to go to the airport, knowing that they were going to be home very late, I wanted to leave them a surprise dinner in their refrigerator!

After a few minutes, I found everything I needed to create a Pesto & Arugula Pasta Salad.  Best of all, it only took 15 minutes and we were out the door and our friends had an easy and delicious dinner waiting for them.  Needless to say, they were very happy to come home after a very long day to a ready-made meal that kept perfectly well!  This is easy summer “cooking”, at its best!

Watch: Pesto & Arugula Pasta Salad


Pesto & Arugula Pasta Salad

Ingredients (serve 4-6)

  • Fusilli – 1 pound, cooked al dente

  • Pesto – 7 ounces, store-bought

  • Grape Tomatoes – 2 pints, halved

  • Parmesan Cheese – 1 cup, Parmigiano-Reggiano recommended

  • Baby Arugula – 2 cups, washed and dried

  • Green Onions – ½ cup, thinly sliced

  • Basil – ⅓ cup, rough chopped, fresh

  • Parsley - ⅓ cup, rough chopped, fresh, Italian Flat-Leaf variety recommended

  • Red Pepper Flakes – ½ teaspoon

  • Lemon Zest – 1 small lemon, zested

  • Sea Salt – 1½ teaspoons

  • Black Pepper – 1 teaspoon, freshly cracked

Directions

  1. After the pasta has been cooked and drained, and while it is hot, place it into a large bowl.

  2. Immediately add all of the ingredients to the hot pasta and toss until evenly mixed.

  3. Serve warm, at room temperature, or cold.

Tip: You can make this in advance and store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.  Before you serve it, check to see if it needs more salt, pepper, and even another handful of fresh arugula or basil mixed in.  I have noticed that as food sits in a cold temperature, some of the flavor “disappears”.  After all, who wants bland food?! 

Order a signed copy of my cookbook Entertaining with Love!

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Heirloom Tomato & Roasted Artichoke Capellini

Marc J. Sievers

Having friends over for a casual dinner is about to get seriously delicious!  My Heirloom Tomato & Roasted Artichoke Capellini is the perfect meal to throw together during the week or on the weekend.  It’s filled with easy-to-find ingredients and you do not need to be a whiz is the kitchen to whip up this flavorful meal!  Pair it with a rustic sour dough boule, a simple green salad, and a bottle (or 2!) of wine.  Mangia bene, vivi felice!


Heirloom Tomato & Roasted Artichoke Capellini

Ingredients (serves 6)

  • Artichoke Hearts – (2) twelve-ounce bags, frozen

  • Olive Oil – ⅓ cup PLUS 2 tablespoons

  • Sea Salt – 1½ teaspoons

  • Black pepper – 1½ teaspoons, freshly cracked

  • Capellini – 1 pound, dry

  • Shallots – 2 medium, finely diced

  • Mini Heirloom Tomatoes – 4 cups, halved

  • Garlic – 10 cloves, finely minced

  • Lemon Zest – ⅓ cup

  • Crushed Red pepper Flakes – ¼ teaspoon

  • Crushed Tomatoes – (2) 15-ounce cans

  • Heavy Cream – ⅓ cup

  • Butter – 2 tablespoons, unsalted

  • Basil – ½ cup, roughly chopped

  • Pecorino – ½ cut, freshly grated

  • Bocconcini – eight-ounces, quartered

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

  2. Place the frozen artichoke hearts on a sheet pan.  Toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

  3. Roast for 30 minutes, tossing twice during cooking.  Remove from the oven and set aside.

  4. Next, in a 14-inch sauté pan set over medium-low heat, add ⅓ cup of olive oil and the butter.

  5. Once the olive is hot, add the shallots, garlic, crushed red pepper, sea salt, and pepper.

  6. Cook for 8 - 9 minutes, stirring occasionally until the shallots and garlic are tender but not browned.

  7. Add the heavy cream and crushed tomatoes and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  8. Then add the lemon zest, roasted artichoke hearts, and mini heirloom tomatoes.  Cook for an additional 5 minutes, then cover with a lid and turn off the heat.

  9. Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil.  Cook the capellini according to package directions.

  10. Once the pasta is cooked, drain it well, and add it to the sauce.

  11. Lastly, toss the pasta with the sauce, basil, and bocconcini.  Garnish with pecorino and more salt and pepper to taste.

  12. Serve immediately.

Order a signed copy of my cookbook Entertaining with Love!

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