Here is a sauce recipe that can be used on chicken, mixed with shredded pork or enjoyed over pasta. Inspired by a recipe in the newest cookbook that has been added to my collection, The Silver Spoon. Thanks so much for the birthday present kids!
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
8 to 10 saffron threads, optional
1 small sweet onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 large red bell pepper, diced
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes
3 1" slices sour dough bread, cubed (day old works great)
1/2 cup pine nuts
1 teaspoon (or to taste) salt
3 tablespoons (or to taste) balsamic vinegar
2 cups water
Heat a large saute pan over medium high heat. Pour olive oil in hot pan. Immediately add paprika, sage, red pepper flakes and saffron. Cook spices about 30 seconds and add onion, garlic and red bell pepper. Cook for 3 minutes stirring occasionally. Add tomatoes, bread and pine nuts. Continue to cook another 5 minutes. When veggies are soft and bread begins to break up, remove from heat and puree sauce with 1 cup of water. Return to pan, add vinegar and salt to taste. Thin sauce with additional water to reach desired consistency. Serve over chicken or pork cutlets.
Hints: This sauce freezes well. I use an immersion blender or food processor to puree the sauce but you can do it in a regular blender, just be sure to hold the lid tightly when blending hot items as the steam may force open the lid. This sauce is very rich and quite intense in flavor.