By popular demand !!!! Not what you’re expecting

Okay, I have been encouraged to depart from the music stuff to blog a bit about my culinary skills….they’re not too shabby, if I do say so myself.  Being half Italian, it’s only logical I know a little bit about cooking.  The other half is English….that’s the “Bailey” part.  You can guess which side of the family I gravitated to on holidays even as a child.  Let me see….do I want overcooked boiled beef with unseasoned turnips or do I prefer homemade lasagna with grandma’s meatballs and Italian sausage?  
I don’t think I’m alone in regarding food from Italy to be the best.  Believe it or not, my second choice is Japanese cuisine!   Love it, cooked or not. 
But as the season for decent tomatoes winds down, I am compelled to make the simplest of red pasta sauces combining a mere seven ingredients and more importantly, taking only thirty minutes to prepare.  The secret to its success lies within the tomatoes themselves.  They must be as ripe as possible…somewhat over-ripe is even better.  If you know the vegetable manager at your store, he may even set aside tomatoes having perhaps a small defect or bruising which makes them unsellable.  But for our purposes, the bad parts can be cut off using a paring knife and the rest of the tomato works just fine.
As you read through the recipe, please don’t think I forgot to list the onion or meat components.  There aren’t any!  Now, before you decide not to read further, please give this sauce a chance.  Its taste is intense so use it  sparingly on the pasta (rigatoni, penne, farfella, etc., not the fettuccine or linguine type) so that the sauce lightly coats the pasta.  This is what I call a last-minute dish guaranteed to satisfy your family or unexpected guests (who will think you slaved away all day preparing it)! 
Make sure to have on hand some fresh Italian bread as well as grated Parmesan cheese in the house as well.  I happen to like the bread plain for this dinner seeing as there will be an abundance of garlic already in the gravy.  As much as I adore garlic bread, I think it’s too much of good thing for this recipe. 
If you’d like, serve it with a European salad of some kind…….remember, salad comes AFTER the main course in Europe.  It naturally creates a refreshing, palate-cleansing finish to the meal.  Romaine lettuce mixed with a bit of arugula, endive, dandelions, mustard green or rapine are all good options to create a refreshing complement to this pasta dish loved originally by the common people of Old Italy simply called, Salsa Fresco.” 

8-10 medium ROMA or BEEFSTEAK tomatoes (very soft to the touch) 
10-12 gloves of garlic (sorry, forget the pre-chopped jar variety, it won’t work)
a hand full of chopped basil (absolutely must be the fresh stuff, not dried)
1/2 tsp. powered chicken bouillon
1/2 tsp. granulated sugar
1/4 tps. dried red pepper (optional)
2 tab. olive oil
1 lb. dried pasta
Heat a large pasta bowl in the oven set on warm.
Prepare garlic by crushing gloves with the side of a large knife; remove the outside; chop gloves into  pieces.
Prepare tomatoes by removing unwanted parts and core; cut into quarters LEAVING SKIN ON; place into a blender and liquefy.
Pour olive oil into medium size pot or large skillet (it will cook down faster in the latter).
Heat oil over LOW flame; put in the prepared garlic; saute making sure not to burn the pieces (or yourself)
Make certain heat is set no more than low-medium before adding the following!!!!!!!
CAREFULLY and SLOWLY pour the blended tomatoes into the pot or skillet
Add bouillon, sugar, chopped fresh basil and red pepper; stir from the bottom until the sauce commingles.
Boil slowly until the liquid reduces (about 10-15 minutes depending on the water content in the tomatoes) to a loose paste; continue to stir occasionally, detaching and blending in any pulp sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Fill a medium-large pot 2/3 the way with water; bring to a boil (cover the pot to expedite this time always monitor the water boiling progress carefully to avoid the lid from popping off from pressure).
Pour in one pound of pasta and boil for the time suggested on the box (around 6-8 minutes); strain.
Take the large serving bowl from the oven; pour the strained pasta into the bowl; cover with pasta sauce; fold in the sauce to coat the pasta.  Remember, if too much sauce is used, the tomato flavor becomes overwhelming.
Sprinkle with grated Italian cheese and serve.  An extra basil leaf or two placed on top just befoe serving completes the presentation……and shows you to be an elegant chef, even if you’re not.  I’ll never tell.
Buon Appetito!  
Also, dont forget to “like” me on Facebook and visit my website
 Posted by Ric Overton of via

Hello everyone,

It’s time for another update about by plans for this Fall.  The Volare seminar program is really kicking off good.  My next presentation will be in the Seattle area on September 13th and 14th.  Prosser Piano and Organ is hosting this in their Shoreline store.  I can’t wait!  We’ll have the perfect set up there because this location is the primary organ teaching facility of the chain.  My buddy, Ray Harris, has done a fantastic job of recruiting attendees for the event.  I’ll be shipping my audio/visual equipment to him shortly.  I think the days are gone when simply listening to an artist play is enough.  The corresponding video influence is almost a must.  And of course I want those choosing to be at Volare to get the full emotional impact of what I am doing.


Bye for now….we’ll talk soon.  In the meantime, remember to “like” me of facebook and also to visit my website at


posted by Ric Overton of via


Ready for the fall to kick in….

Usually, my travel performance schedule is quite busy during the months of September, October and November.  I love when the days get a little shorter and the nights a little chillier.  It seems people begin to focus better when the air is clear and the atmosphere is energized.  This year will be the same as usual….yet different.  I have plans to present several Volare seminars (check my web site for more details about what this is all about.  But the basic concept is a program I have created, promoted and launched for keyboard players who truly want to improve their skills without going to a music college.  We have a lot of fun at these affairs which last two days…..eight hours of learning in all.  Besides the seminars, I offer a playing critique for anyone interested and perform a mini concert at the end.  Everyone is given materials to act as their guideline plus an audio CD demonstrating the ideas presented.  Folks genuinely seem to appreciate the “secrets to playing success” I give them during the course.

So I’ll begin the tour in Seattle, WA where I will be conducting a Volare hosted by Prosser Piano & Organ at the Shoreline store north of downtown.  The event is scheduled to take place on September 13th and 14th.  We will have a group of some 30 participants who have registered to attend. 

Afterwards, there will be two Volares presented for the Roland southern California dealer, Desi’s Music.  We’ve decided to start off in eastern Riverside County to cater to those who reside in that general area.

Their event will take place on Tuesday and Wednesday, September 27th and 28th.  The following week, I will personally be hosting a similar event right here at my residence in Poway, California.  That will be on October 4th and 5th.  Desi and I felt it necessary to split his clientele into two groups for the sake of transportation issues. 

It should be a resourceful and enlightening two days in both locations.  My belief is that people will come away from the mini-course with a newfound sense of confidence and excitement.  That is my goal and desire for the Volare attendees.

Don’t forget to “like” me in Facebook.  Drop by when you get a chance.


this post by Ric Overton of via