Dinner last night was quite the ensemble so I decided to write about it. We just got back from a trip to Vegas (for my bday) and we were all very exhausted, but most of all Broke! I didn’t want to waste money on delivery and had quite a few things in the fridge I felt sure I could do something with. I just didn’t want to put a whole lot of effort forth. I had some left over Hawaiian bread that was still good but not for much longer. I hate throwing food away so I really wanted to use what up what I had before I had to waste it. I always have pasta and canned crushed tomatoes, I had some yellow onions, and garlic of course, and my basil and parsley plants were dying for me to cut them back. I also had some of my fresh tomato sauce w/meat I had froze from a batch of sauce I made previously, not enough for a meal for 4 though. Last I had some Italian salami. Oh yeah I had a red bell pepper begging to be cooked as well. Here’s what I did….
- dice 1 yellow onion toss into hot pot w/olive oil (medium heat)
- chop up 4 garlic cloves, toss in pot
- dice red bell pepper, toss in pot
- dice salami toss in pot
- sprinkle in some dried oregano, give it all a mix
- boil water for pasta
- pour crushed tomatoes (28 oz can) in pot w/veggies and let it cook over medium low heat.
- chop up 1 garlic clove and 4 pats of butter, melt together
- slice open hawaiian bread, lay bread on piece of foil, pour melted butter and garlic over bread, sprinkle w/salt, ground black pepper, & shred some parmesan cheese on top, toast in oven (about 5 min. if in broiler)
- i added my leftover fresh tomato sauce w/meat and just let it simmer until pasta is done
- give the parsley and basil a rough chop and toss into sauce
- take the pasta directly out of pasta water (do not drain) i use tongs to grab the noodles and drop pasta into tomato sauce, giving it a mix in between drops. this lets you coat the noodles with the sauce and pasta water.
This might sound like a lot of work but it really isn’t. It only took about 30 min to pull together. You can be creative with what you already have lying around, using things like garlic salt if you don’t have fresh garlic for the bread. You can use any kind of bread. Use up old packets from pizza delivery for the parmesan or spice things up w/cracked red pepper.
Today in my test kitchen I’m going to make:
- Grilled N.Y. Strip Steak w/red wine cranberry sauce.
- Grilled Shrimp (the big juicy ones) tossed in garlic lemon pepper butter
- Green bean & crimini mushrooms w/alfredo sauce & fried onions
- Sweet Potato Fries (probably going to do mashed sweet potatoes w/garlic & chipoltle because I don’t have a deep fryer which would make the frying much easier since I have to do more than 1 potato)
- For little snacks I’ll have my yummy popcorn tossed with smoked aged gouda, butter & garlic salt. And my dark chocolate candies.
- I’ll write recipes after I’ve tested everything out on my lucky guests tonight!
I always gave my boyfriend such a hard time about blogs and all the crap people would write, but here I am Eating my words as usual doing what I said I’d never do! The key word here Eating! We love to do it in our household and I come from a long line of “Foodies”(meaning people who love to eat). My first recipe for my first blog will be Fresh Tomato Pasta w/ Meat. A favorite in our house! Tomatoes are one of those super foods packed full of good stuff like vitamin C, vitamin A and antioxidants. This is a simple but delicious meal.
Fresh Tomato Sauce Over Pasta Recipe…
Ingredients: tomatoes, onion, garlic, ground beef, italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, salt & ground pepper, olive oil, bay leaves
1. Heat stock pot over medium heat.
2. Dice 1/2 of white onion, pour olive oil in pot (til it covers the bottom) throw in onion. add a few pinches of salt & ground pepper let them carmelize
3. Quarter 11-13 roma tomatoes. set aside
4. Add red pepper flakes, & italian seasoning into the pot, stir, add 1lb. ground beef, season with salt & pepper, let brown.
5. Smash 3 cloves of garlic, roughly chop rest of onion, place tomato’s, garlic, onion, & a few pinches of salt & pepper in blender, set blender to chop and pulse chop until ingredients are mixed and chopped up.
6. Pour tomato mix in pot, add 2 bay leaves, let sauce come to a boil, and then simmer for about an hour. (no lid)
Tomatoes are watery so you have to let the water cook out, the longer you simmer the better the flavor. You can speed up cooking by cooking on a higher heat but be sure to keep an eye on it. If you need to thicken the sauce add a can of plain tomato sauce. If you ever have red wine left over it’s always nice to cook in the sauce. Just add it after you browned your meat.
1. Bring water to a boil in a large pot.
2. Salt water and add angel hair pasta, (or your favorite kind of pasta)
3. Strain pasta and pour into a large serving dish.
Pour sauce over pasta & mix together, grate mozzerella cheese over top, finish with fresh basil.