24 August, 2010

Pasta Week, Day 1 (Monday)

Between Dave and myself, I'm sure we're going to be able to use this delicious pasta by the end of the week. He and I both have different things in mind for today, for example.

Penne with butter and a touch of Aromat seasoning.
Today for lunch, I did one of my favorite things ever to do with plain, cold leftover penne: chuck some of it in a bowl, put a little butter on it, and put in it the microwave for a minute. When it comes out of the microwave, I sprinkle a little Knorr Aromat seasoning on it for extra amounts of awesome (though according to the package, it's mostly salt and MSG,) sit down somewhere cozy, and nom away.

There's things you can do with that above method to make it a little more exciting, though, like putting some chicken or turkey in it, or better yet, some frozen peas or fresh corn. But even just snacking on it in all of its starchy, carbohydrate glory is enough to keep me happy.

Angel hair with Dave's amazing sauce.

Dave, on the other hand, found something to do with the angel hair that never goes wrong, and it's name is good old fashoned tomato sauce. Using tomatoes from our garden and fresh herbs, he made a super-amazing sauce that went really well with a package of pork stew bits that I'd prepped earlier in the day. He cooked the pork bits in a pressure cooker for about 20 minutes while he made the sauce in another pot, heated up some of the pasta, and then added the cooked pork to the sauce just before serving.

The end result was nothing short of awesome, and was perfect for an eerily cold August night like tonight.


Alan said...

Looks good. Do we get to see Dave's secret tomato sauce recipe? (he begs)

Dave said...

Alan -

No secret to the sauce, really. I used a pressure cooker because I didn't have all day to simmer it, which would have been best, but it still came out pretty good:

1/4 cup olive oil
3 cubanelle peppers, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 pound mushrooms, chopped
1 stalk of celery with leaves, chopped
3 large garlic cloves, smashed and chopped

Heat the oil in the bottom of the pot and add the veggies over medium heat, sauteeing until the onions are amber and translucent. Turn the heat down low and cover the pot with a strainer.

5 pounds or more fresh garden tomatoes, overripe is OK

I dipped the tomatoes in boiling water to loosen the skins, then slipped the skins off and discarded them. Then I halved the tomatoes and squeezed the seedy pulp and juice gently into the strainer and set the tomatoes aside. I used a wooden spoon to push the juice and pulp through the strainer into the pot with the simmering veggies and discarded the seeds.

Next, chop the tomatoes roughly and add to the pot. Continue to simmer and add:

A generous handful of fresh basil leaves
2 or 3 large sprigs of fresh oregano
1 sprig of fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1 tsp salt
5 or 6 whole peppercorns

Fit the top on the pressure cooker, turn up the heat to medium high, and leave on the burner until the pressure regulator begins to jiggle furiously. Turn the heat down until the jiggler only dances every minute or so, and continue to cook for at least 30 minutes.

At the end of the cooking time, (I shock the pressure cooker under cold running water to quickly reduce the pressure) check the sauce for flavor and adjust the seasonings as needed. If the sauce seems too thin, you can add some tomato paste for body.

That's it. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Quite the recipe, Dave. It's a secret to anyone who doesn't tune into your great blog. Great time of year for this to be posted; thank you so much.