Did you ever have one of those moments where you invite people over to your house, only to realize you have nothing to offer them? That's happened to me more times than I can count. I love to entertain, so it's crucial to have some trusty recipes you can whip up with stocked pantry items in a short amount of time.
I was in Boston this weekend with friends and on Saturday afternoon, we went and had lunch at Tapeo, a great little tapas restaurant on Newbury Street. We had some great tapas, including a spicy tomato sauce with melted goat cheese. It was amazing and I filed the idea away in my head, thinking I wanted to try and recreate it at a later date. Little did I know it would happen so quickly. We met some dear old friends later in the afternoon and decided to invite them back to the house for an impromptu get-together. On the T-ride home, we talked about what we should put out for snacks, and I immediately suggested this, knowing it would be quick and easy to make. We got back to the house we were staying at and this was on the table in 15 minutes.
All of the ingredients, except for the goat cheese, are items that are usually stocked in any pantry, so all you need to add is some bread or crackers to serve it with. It's quick, it's easy, and best of all, it looks like you slaved over it much longer than 15 minutes. So go ahead - invite your friends over. I promise they'll love this. On Thursday, I'll post another recipe that was a great addition to our little impromptu tapas party.
Spicy Tomato Sauce with Goat Cheese
1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
1 1/2 tsp paprika (use hot if desired)
1/2 tsp crushed fennel seed
1 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp sugar
Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan and stir over medium heat until well combined and simmering. To serve, either pour into large serving plate and placed sliced goat cheese in the center, or for a fancier touch, place into individual ramekins. Place under broiler for a few minutes until cheese is melted. Serve with fresh bread or crackers.