When judging restaurants, some people [see: me] care a little too much about the bread. There’s nothing worse than a bucket of peanuts or worse — nothing — on the table where the following should be: warm, yeasty goodness to fill up on before your entrée. There’s probably a reason corporate restaurants have begun to offer things like “soup, salad and breadsticks.” People dig bread.
While many recipes on this blog might come from non-Italian sources (allrecipes.com, my “cook everything” cookbooks, etc.), this recipe is straight legit. My adorable New Yorker step-grandmother, “Granny Zeller,” was of Italian descent and one of the best cooks in New York. (I’m legally allowed to say this because it’s 100 percent accurate.) Her marinara recipe has been passed down through generations, and now I’m passing it on to you.
Three things that always (yes, always) go together: tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil. There are many ways to concoct these ingredients, but the most basic — and arguably one of the most delicious — is the simple tomato and mozzarella salad. There is a caveat, however. If you’re looking to skimp on price, this is not the recipe with which to do it. [Exit: my fellow poor grad students].