RSS

Tag Archives: tomatoes

Simple Tomato Sauce

Tomato sauce doesn’t have to be complicated, especially when you have a busy schedule like I do.  With the freshest ingredients you can get and a bit of patience you will be rewarded with you won’t believe you did it yourself and from scratch.

Included in my CSA box were some tomatoes in various sizes and colors.  I particularly like the baby Romas.  Also in the box was some amazing Thai basil.  I decided to make a sauce to compliment the bucatini I got at Glorioso’s (the best Italian market in the state!).

This recipe is inspired by Martha Stewarts Spaghetti 101 episode.  With this recipe, everything is fresh, nothing is canned. I love this recipe for its simplicity.  I’m not stirring sauce all day (not that there is anything wrong with that. I just don’t have the time).  I can get dinner on the table at a decent time and everyone is happy.  I also love how versatile this sauce recipe is.  You can adjust any of the ingredients to your liking. My family loves it when I amp up the garlic and red pepper flakes.

If you are pressed for time and craving a pasta dish.  Try this one out.

Supplies:

  • Fresh tomatoes (I had 4 regular sized and 7 baby romas), pureed (more on that below)
  • 5 garlic gloves, chopped
  • 1 handful of fresh basil, chopped or thrown in whole
  • 1 teaspoon fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • red pepper flakes (a little goes a long way, adjust to your liking.  Start of light with a dash, you can always add more later)
  • 1/8-1/4 C good red wine (If it’s not good enough to drink, it’s not good enough to cook with)
  • S&P to taste

First thing you need to do is take your fresh tomatoes and turn them into a puree.  I prefer taking the skins off the tomatoes. You don’t have to, but it does make for a nice smooth sauce. Taking the skins off a tomato isn’t as daunting as it sounds; in fact it’s pretty simple and quick.  Take a paring knife and cut an X on the bottom of each tomato.

Place your tomatoes into a pot of boiling water.  You only need to keep them in the water for a minute at most.  When you pinch (very carefully they are HOT)  the tomato and the skins slide, take them out of the water and put into a colander to cool down to where you can handle them freely.  The skins will slide ride off.  Easy!

Place skinned tomatoes into a food processor, food mill, blender whathaveyou.  Puree.  You can do a smooth puree or you can leave it a bit chunky. Your choice.

In a large sautee pan, sautee onions until translucent. Add garlic and sautee until the garlic is soft.

Add red pepper flakes, tomato puree and red wine to onions and garlic.  Stir until thoroughly mixed, simmering on medium heat.   Now is a good time to season with salt and pepper.  This is the stage when I determine if I need to add more red pepper flake or not.

Add the oregano and basil and let the sauce simmer on medium-low heat. It will start to thicken up (but not much) and look and smell amazing.

This sauce won’t be a thick sauce like you get in a can or jar. It will be on the thin side and will coat pasta nicely.   If you aren’t comfortable with a thinner pasta sauce, you could use a tablespoon of tomato paste to thicken it up a bit. I personally don’t think it needs it.  Again, preference.

The taste is incredibly fresh.  You really get flavor of the tomato.  I love the kick of heat you get and all that wonderful garlic.  Sprinkle some fresh parm on top and serve with piping hot garlic bread and enjoy!

 

 

Advertisements
 
2 Comments

Posted by on September 8, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , ,

Summertime Pizza

It all started with a pizza craving.  Gooey cheese, fattening meats, naughty for you crust..mmmmm. But I digress.  I wanted pizza and I was going to have it (and have it healthy).

In my CSA box this week was some basil and some summer squash.  I had a left over tomato from the prior week’s box.  I decided to forgo the traditional tomato sauce and use part-skim ricotta and the fresh basil.  I loaded it up with veggies, and sliced apple chicken sausages and topped with a very light sprinkle of grated parmesan cheese.  What I got was nothing less than amazing.

The ricotta was so creamy and when you got a bite of the fresh basil..Heaven (seriously).  The veggies were beautifully crisp and fresh.

The produce from Highcross Farm is so gorgeous and so delicious, I really feel spoiled being a CSA member.

Supplies:

  • 1 tube (I know, I know) pizza crust
  • 1 zucchini, sliced
  • 1 shallot sliced into thin rounds
  • 1 good handful mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Fresh basil
  • Grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tub part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 2 links chicken sausage (I used apple)

Preheat oven to 450.  Shape pizza dough on a greased cookie sheet according to package instructions.  Bake for 10 mins.  You want the edges to be at the point where they are just starting to turn brown.  Pre-baking your crust will prevent it from getting soggy from the vegetables.  Take out of the oven, but leave the oven still on.

Spread ricotta cheese over the crust and sprinkle whole basil leaves over the ricotta.  Sprinkle with garlic powder.

Layer your vegetables and sausage anyway you wish.  Sprinkle with grated parmesan and bake until the mushrooms and zucchini have just about to soften and the sausage is heated through.  For me it took about 15 or so minutes. Keep an eye on it.

If you feel your crust is getting too dark before your pizza is done, cover it with pieces of tin foil.

I enjoyed mine on my deck with a nice glass of wine.  I love summer.

 

 

 
1 Comment

Posted by on August 25, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , ,

Roasted Tomato and Jalapeno Salsa

There is nothing like late night TV, chips and salsa.  I have made salsa time and time again.  I love it.  It’s easy, it keeps well in the refrigerator and it’s healthy.

This time around I decided to roast 1/2 the tomatoes and 1 pepper I had gotten in my CSA box.  Roasting the veggies gave the salsa a nice rich depth and a nice sweetness to the salsa.  My family loved it.

I love making salsa because there are no measurements. Throw it all into a food processor and go.

This is what I used to make mine:

Supplies:

  • Four tomatoes (2 roasted, 2 roughly cut up) and 1 jalapeno pepper roasted
  • 1 onion
  • 1 handful of cilantro
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • pinch of salt
  • black pepper to taste

If you have never roasted veggies before it’s easy.  Just put your veg on the bottom of a shallow roasting pan and drizzle with olive oil. Roast in a 400 degree oven until soft and the skins are a little dark.  Let cool completely.

It’s up to you if you want to leave the seeds of the pepper in the salsa or take them out.  We like our a little on the hot side.

Throw the cooled veg into a food processor with the rest of the ingredients and pulse until well blended.

Store in an airtight container.  Enjoy whenever.  Jeff and I like ours on the couch while watching Storage Wars. haha.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on August 18, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , ,

Cheesy Spaghetti Squash w/ Chick Peas & Arugula

I seriously have fallen in love with squash. I get picture perfect squash in my CSA boxes and I love it.  This week I received a beautiful spaghetti squash.

I love the versatility of squash. You can do just about anything with it.

Tonight I came home starved. I decided to steam the spaghetti squash in the microwave then sautee it on the stove with the arugula and tomatoes that were also in my box.  I threw in some chick peas to sneak in a little protein as well.  I brought it all together with a generous handful of fresh grated parmesan cheese.  Perfect!

This was amazing. I waited until the last minute to add the arugula and tomatoes as to keep their color and shape. It really helped keep the peppery bite of arugula in tact.

Supplies:

  • 1 spaghetti squah, but in half and seeded
  • 1/4 c water
  • 1 good handful of arugula
  • 1/2 can of chick peas, drained
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 6 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1.5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 c fresh grated Parmesan cheese
  • S & P to taste

Put the squash in a microwave save dish and add water. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave on high until fork tender (about 15 mins). Set aside and let cool.

In a deep skillet sautee the garlic in olive oil until fragrant. Don’t burn the garlic, it will taste bitter.

Add the chick peas and sautee until beans are warmed through.  Add squash, arugula  and tomatoes.  Sautee until warmed through.

Add cheese.  Continue to cook until cheese melts. You will see lovely strings of Parmesan when you stir it around.

Serve and enjoy!

 
1 Comment

Posted by on October 1, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , ,

Roasted Tomatoes and Shrimp w/ a Garlic Wine Sauce over Pasta

Roasted tomatoes 018

With the 2009 CSA season about to start, my mind has been racing thinking of what I can do with this season’s share.  HighCross Farm grows the most amazing cherry tomatoes ever.  I won’t see those until later in the summer so I had to suffice with store bought.

I like using the off-season time to experiment and practice.  I can’t wait to take what I’ve played with over the winter months and apply it using the best produce around from HighCross Farm.  I truly am excited for the start of the season.

The Supplies:

  • 1 container grape tomatoes, halved
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • fresh basil, chopped
  • A good handful of precooked or uncooked (peeled and deveined) shrimp
  • 1/2 Cup (or more if you so desire) good white wine (I had a Chenin Blanc on hand)
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes (optional)
  • S & P to taste
  • cooked pasta of your choice

I took a container of grape tomatoes and sliced them in half.  I kept is simple by using  just a drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper.

Roasted tomatoes 004

Baked them off in a 400 degree oven for about 30-40 minutes.  They should come out looking like these beauties…

Roasted tomatoes 010

Mmmm!  Tomatoes are naturally sweet; when you roast them you heighten their sweetness ten fold.  It’s like eating candy..really.

Next, I took about 3 cloves of garlic and a small yellow onion and chopped them up finely.  I sweated them out with some olive oil until they were translucent.

To that I added a good white wine and let it simmer until it reduced by half. 

This is a good time to start your pasta.

Once the wine has reduced add in your roasted tomatoes, shrimp and basil.  Let simmer until the shrimp are either heated all the way through or cooked all the way through.  You will have something that looks like this…

Roasted tomatoes 014

Cook your pasta to al dente, drain and mix into the sauce. Plate and enjoy.  This dish is fantastic!!

One more picture…

Roasted tomatoes 021

 
9 Comments

Posted by on May 17, 2009 in basil, pasta, tomatoes, wine

 

Tags: , , , ,

Salsa

I took these…

and turned it into this!

Closer…

I made mine rather hot.

Salsa

2 large tomatoes chopped

1 hot pepper finely diced (if you don’t want your salsa on fire, take out the veins and seeds)

1 medium onion diced

2 cloves of garlic minced

1 handful of cilantro finely chopped

Juice of 1 lime

Mince your garlic, dice your onion and chop your tomatoes. Put into a medium sized bowl and mix together. Chop your cilantro and pepper and add to tomato mix.  Add the juice of a lime, stir and refrigerate.  Let it sit for a bit so the flavors marry. (It’s equally good if you don’t..I suppose it’s personal preference). Enjoy with chips or use in your favorite recipe.

I do have to comment on the onions I have been getting from HighCross Farm.  They are the best tasting onions I have ever had.  They put store bought onions to shame.  Same goes for their garlic.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 18, 2008 in salsa

 

Tags: , , , , ,