Vote in the US Election

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If you are not a US citizen, of course, you can’t vote in the upcoming US presidential election. But many people around the world care about this election. If you have an opinion about who you would like to vote for, you can go “vote” here:

http://www.betavote.com/

Just choose who you would like to vote for and what country you are from. It’s not a real vote. You’re just giving your opinion. You do not need to give your e-mail address or anything.

Check back later and see who is winning in your country! Even though it’s not a real vote, it’s kind of fun, I think.

Pasta Sauce Recipe

One of my clients wants to start cooking American food. Well, it’s always hard to say what that is, but Americans eat a lot of pasta. So here is a recipe for tomato sauce.

You can make it first, then make spaghetti (or any kind of pasta). Just keep the sauce warm while you make the pasta. You can add ground beef to the sauce if you want to. You can also add tofu, pieces of chicken breast, or slices of sausage. Just cook the meat first if you use it. I like to use shredded Parmesan cheese on top of the pasta. We often have a meal of this: angel hair pasta (it cooks fast), tomato sauce, and shredded parmesan on top, and baked eggplant cutlets.

This recipe says “to taste” a lot. That means “the way you like it.” So you can put in a lot or a little. I use a BIG onion, a LOT of garlic, some red pepper flakes, etc. It just depends on what your family likes!

This recipe was adapted from “Fast Tomato Sauce” from the book How to Cook Everything Vegetarian
by Mark Bittman. (This book is excellent, but you need to have advanced English reading skills to use it.)

It takes about 45 minutes when I make it.

INGREDIENTS
- 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 onion
- 1 can of whole tomatoes (24-32 oz.) with no salt (unsalted)
- Minced garlic to taste
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Red pepper flakes to taste (spicy!–optional)
- Dried or fresh or frozen basil, oregano, parsley to taste
- (Optional) A can or tube of tomato paste

EQUIPMENT
A tablespoon (measuring spoon)
A 10-12-inch skillet/frying pan
A cooking spoon

INSTRUCTIONS
1. Dice the onion. (Cut the onion into small pieces.)
2. Drain the can of tomatoes. (Remove the water/tomato juice.)
3. Cut the tomatoes into smaller pieces.
4. Heat the oil in a 10-12-inch skillet over medium heat.
5. When the oil is hot, add the onion. Cook the onion until it’s soft, stirring sometimes, for 2-3 minutes.
6. Add the garlic. Cook for about one minute. Keep stirring. (If it turns brown, lower the heat.)
7. Add the tomatoes.
8. Add the salt, black pepper, and red pepper. Just add as much as you want. You can add more later, so don’t add too much.
9. Keep cooking. Stir it sometimes. Keep cooking until the tomatoes “break up” and the sauce gets thick. This takes at least 10-15 minutes. Taste it and see what you think. Add more salt or pepper if you need to.
10. When it’s almost done, add the herbs (basil, oregano, and parsley). Just add a little, then stir it and taste it. Add more if you want to.
11. If you’re done but it’s too thin, add some tomato paste until it’s thick enough.
12. Put it on some pasta!

You can add lots of other things, including balsamic vinegar, curry powder, Chinese chili sauce, etc. It’s really up to you!