Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Homegrown Pasta Sauce

Even though I have not been as consistent as I should be, I promise, I have been cooking, gardening and creating. We have not starved in any way, shape or form! (I could probably stand to starve for a few days and shed some pounds!) I have actually been cooking quite a bit and have made several quite healthy meals! One of our favorite things is home made pasta sauce. We had a profusion of tomatoes last year in our garden and I was able to freeze (I haven't gotten the hang of canning everything, so freezing is still my quickest option) several gallons of both tomatoes and sauce. Here is my garden tomato sauce:

Start with several large ripe tomatoes (depending on how much you want to make but I normally do about 10 or more at a time), preferably a mixture for better taste. My sauces consist of Red German Johnsans, Yellow Boy and a few Roma's. Blanch tomatoes (place for 30 seconds in boiling water and immediately place in cool water to remove skins). Put tomatoes in food processor (a blender will work as well) (for a thicker sauce or salsa drain tomatoes for a few minutes in collander and use a chopper).
Finely chop one medium yellow onion, one green pepper (small) and one yellow or red pepper, set aside.
Use one small clove of garlic finely chopped (approx. 1 1/2 tbs) and place in sauce pan in approx. 1 tbs butter or light olive oil (two tbs chicken broth will work here as well) and saute on medium high. Add in your onion and continue to saute. Stir in your peppers. Add your herbs. I used dried herbs and go heavy on the oregeno, italian seasoning, salt and parsley, light on the pepper, thyme and basil. Add your tomatoes and simmer for a few hours (or transfer to crockpot for a few hours). For a heartier version add browned ground hamburger. Serve of a variety of pastas. Perfect for spaghetti and tortellini (thicken it up and add mushrooms for lasagna) and even great in a chunkier version as a salsa (add hot peppers and spice). This is also great to add in chuncks of squash, zuchini, eggplant etc for a veggie version! I love this dish because it is so versitile and in the summer I can literally go out in my garden and PICK everything to make it! ENJOY!

Shown here over cheese tortellini in the chunckier version:

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