Jimmy Lee Moran’s Tomato Sauce WHAT YOU WILL NEED 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 onion finely chopped 1 rib celery finely chopped 1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes tablespoon red pepper flakes
surpassed the fame of his father’s diamond- studded meatballs. The taste memory goes back to the 1970s when Jimmy would toss fettuccine at tables throughout Moran’s La Louisiane. There was no real secret to it, except the simple ingredients that combine in a light, silky comeback plate of pasta: paper thin fettuccine cooked al dente, butter, half and half (not cream), pasta water and Parmigiano-Reggiano. He built Moran’s Riverside, a second restaurant in a new building at the French Market in 1975, and ran both places for a while, but the new restaurant soon overtook the popularity of La Louisiane, so that was sold. A Toresani, an imported Italian pasta machine, was installed on the first floor at Moran’s Riverside. There he put two of his children to work, Jimmy Lee Moran and Ann Moran Brainard. Jimmy worked as the restaurant’s day manager and had also worked at Acme Oyster House.Ann worked in the pasta shop after she graduated from Tulane University. If you couldn’t afford to enjoy the fettuccine at the restaurant often, it was inexpensive enough to pick up a pound of fresh fettuccine. Copies of the recipe were always handed out. He felt that sharing the best was important. Jimmy works with Freeport McMoRan. His small Toresani at home continues to crank out the same thin fettuccine. And yes, the old recipe works — really, really works. Ann treasured kitchen time with her father. “Once or twice a week we would cook together. What I cook today is an evolution of what Dad taught me. Everything I do stems from that,” she says. She has a trove of family recipes and shares them with an open hand, except for her grandfather’s meatball recipe. “I was raised with the warning to never divulge it.That’s the only one.” “Even though I live in New England, I brought my culture and my city with me. I’m black and gold through and through and think of myself as an ambassador for New Orleans. I constantly make gumbo, jambalaya — and an annual crawfish boil here for friends —our favorite New Orleans recipes” Jimmy won’t give up the meatball recipe either, but he did offer a snappy family tomato sauce recipe.There’s a lot of conflict around here about calling it sauce vs. gravy but it’s simply a personal preference and who’s your mama.
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whole carrot, peeled tablespoon dried basil
Salt and pepper to taste
HOW TO PREP Heat the olive oil in a large pot and add the chopped onion and celery. Cook on medium heat, stirring until translucent, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the red pepper flakes and whole carrot and basil. Using a food processer, if desired, crush the tomatoes and add to the mixture. Cook over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Discard the carrot. Moran’s Fettuccine WHAT YOU WILL NEED 1 pound fettuccine noodles ¼ pound butter at room temperature ⅓ pound grated Parmesan cheese ½ tablespoon milk or half & half at room temperature HOW TO PREP Bring salted water to a vigorous boil and drop in fettuccine, stirring until all noodles are separated. Boil for approximately 1 minute (over cooking will ruin noodles) and drain loosely, leaving a little water on noodles. Add butter and mix well with fork and spoon. Add cheese and mix well to avoid lumping. Add milk or cream and mix thoroughly until mixture is loose and creamy. Successful fettuccine is the correct consistency. It should not be watery or too dry. Add a little liquid at a time until the proper smooth, creamy consistency is reached. Serve immediately topped with freshly ground black pepper. [TOP LEFT] Circa 1903. A New Orleans milk cart with a one-horsepower motor in front of what would become Moran’s La Louisiane. The property was built in 1837 as a residence for wealthy Creole merchant, James Walter Zacharie. Diamond Jim acquired the lease in 1954 and dubbed it Moran’s La Louisiane. He ran the restau- rant for only four years and died there of a heart attack in 1958. His sons Jimmy and Tony Moran took over.
brilliant. He wore multitudes of diamonds, earning his flashy moniker — Diamond Jim — and an occasional sparkler tucked into a lofty meatball played to the press. His sons Jimmy and Tony Moran built on the restaurant legacy, adding Acme Oyster House, the Old Absinthe House Bar, and Moran’s Riverside that became Bella Luna along with Jimmy Moran Catering. Jimmy spent a six-month apprenticeship at Alfredo’s in Rome, where the original pasta Alfredo was created, helping to define his legendary fettuccine recipe. It ultimately
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