Sutter Home Wine’s October Book Club Pick: Carly’s Gift!

Carly’s Gift by Georgia Bockoven was chosen by Sutter Home Wine as their October Book Club Pick! Welcome Georgia to The Secret Ingredient Blog as she gives the details on how to make homemade tomato sauce that pairs perfectly with a glass of Merlot! Devour along with this delicious book club read.

Sutter Home Oct Pick Carly's Gift

Sixteen years ago Carly Hargrove made a decision that would irrevocably alter her life. With little comprehension of the life-long consequences of her actions, she trades her own future happiness to protect the man she’s loved since kindergarten, David Montgomery.


With an ocean separating them, Carly builds a life for herself without David. She’s the mother of three, lives in a beautiful house, and is married to a man who comes home every night—even if most of those nights he drinks too much. What more could she want?


Her answer arrives on a cold fall day when David shows up at her door. In town for his father’s funeral, he has come to see Carly one last time, hoping to rid himself of the anger that still consumes him.


Instead, he is drawn into a web of secrets that rekindles the fierce need he once felt to protect Carly. He becomes caught up in her life in a way he never could have imagined—a way that will bind him to her forever.


For an ever-growing number of Californians a weekly trip to their local farmer’s market has become a way of life. My day is Tuesday. I go early, sometimes arriving before all of the produce has been unloaded. Even an hour later and there will be lines to contend with, but most importantly, the eggs from my favorite pasture-raised chicken farmer will be gone.

Carly Hargrove, the heroine in CARLY’S GIFT, is a farmer’s market kind of woman. She’s someone who can prepare a complex meal and get everything to the table while it’s still hot–an art that has always personally eluded me. Friends and neighbors look at her in awe, never guessing that behind her carefully structured facade, her life is coming apart, and that when it does, the consequences will be devastating.

Following is a recipe Carly could prepare sleepwalking through the kitchen. I work a little harder to get it right, but not much. It’s one of those “a little bit of this and a whole lot of that” kind of recipes, but I promise you that, no matter how you adjust the ingredients, it will turn out as if it was exactly what you had planned all along.


Ridiculously Easy Pasta Sauce:

Tomatoes–absolutely any kind will work, including a mixture of sizes and colors. You need enough, cut in half with the cut side up, to tightly fill a glass 9 X 13 inch pan.

Garlic–two to twenty cloves, completely dependent on your love and tolerance.

Basil–fresh, minimum twenty medium leaves, maximum dependent on your love and tolerance.

Olive Oil–1/3 cup, more or less dependent on how much garlic and basil used.

Finely chop the garlic and basil by hand or in a food processor (be careful not to over-process into a paste). Add olive oil and spoon the combination over tomatoes, adding more olive oil if needed. Bake at 375 degrees, uncovered for forty-five minutes. Mash with a fork for a rustic sauce, or pour into a heat-proof bowl and use an immersion blender for a smoother sauce. Pour over pasta. Serve.

Variations–just before serving add shrimp or ground beef that you’ve cooked separately.

The sauce freezes well so consider doubling the recipe and freezing half.

Serve with a green salad and crusty artesian bread. Be prepared for the shower of compliments.


For more from Georgia Bockoven, check her out on Facebook or at her website!

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