Monday, July 27, 2009

When life gives you tomatoes...

There I was, at the end of the market, watching Isa sort out the too-soft-to-pack from the good to go for this week. We're talking tomatoes. OK maybe food not bombs would have gotten the extras, but maybe they'd be fed to las chivas! I had to do something. "I'll take them!" I told her. I just couldn't help it. She asked how I'd get them home on my bike-- the box of too-softs was at least a few pounds heavier than what I'm used to balancing on my handle bars. I assured them I could do it. I'd just walk...very slowly. And that's just what I did.

Upon my arrival home, I sorted out the Romas from the Beefsteak organic slightly-too-soft tomatoes. I blanched about 40 Romas and made the simplest sauce I've ever made. Every so often I get these spaghetti and sauce cravings. I don't even want to eat the good stuff-- homemade pasta. I crave angel hair pasta from a box (I try to keep some bulk angel hair in the cupboard, purchased from the Bowl). This was one of those times.

After letting my sauce simmer on low heat for about an hour, I tossed a serving's worth with just-cooked pasta. Heaven-on-lazy-day earth, I tell ya!

Simple Sauce from Fresh Tomatoes

2 T olive oil
40 blanched and peeled Roma tomatoes, roughly chopped or crushed by hand
salt, to taste (careful- as sauce reduces, it will get more concentrated=saltier)
garlic+basil+crushed red pepper infused olive oil (recipe below)

1. Drizzle olive oil into heavy-bottomed stock pot; heat on medium
2. Add tomatoes at once
3. stir, add salt, to taste (less is more, I believe- you can always add more when it's done)
4. bring to boil, reduce to simmer, let cook, simmering, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour
5. when done, add 1/8-1/4 infused olive oil, depending on strength/your tastes

Toss with angel hair pasta, freshly torn basil and freshly grated parmesan cheese, and a small pat of butter, if desired. Yum.

garlic-infused oil

1/2 c olive oil
1 head garlic, cloves peeled
1/4 c fresh basil leaves
3 t crushed red pepper

1. Put all ingredients in saucepan and, on low heat, simmer for 30 min, strain.

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