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    Archive for September, 2009

    Roasted tomato/garlic starter sauce.

    This simple sauce is made from a variety of very ripe tomatoes from the garden. I call this a starter sauce as it could be used, with some additional ingredients, in many regional/ethnic recipes. Here I have outlined the sauce and thereafter showed some variable.

    For the starter sauce:
    Garden ripened tomatoes – any assortment you might have
    Garlic bulbs – use any ratio depending on your personal taste
    Good quality olive oil
    Sea Salt
    Cracked pepper

    Heat oven to 350° F. While oven is heating core out the stem side of the tomato, just enough to remove the stem attachement, cut a small “X” into the other side. Place the tomatoes, cored side down on a baking sheet, cover liberally with olive oil, salt and pepper. Separate garlic bulb into cloves and add to the baking sheet. Roast the tomatoes and garlic until skins are blistered and cracked [NB: Time needed will depend on the size of the largest tomato]. Once the tomatoes and garlic are roasted remove from oven and let cool completely on the baking sheet.

    Place a strainer/sieve over a non-reactive bowl and squeeze the tomatoes to remove seeds and inner membrane. Press any solid through the strainer/sieve leaving only the seeds behind. Crush the tomatoes into the bowl holding the juices. Cut off the stem end of the garlic gloves and squeeze the pulp into the tomato liquid. Place tomato/garlic mixture into a sauce pot, season with additional salt if needed and cook over low heat until the tomatoes break down to your desired texture.

    For an Italian style sauce: Add torn fresh basil, oregano and olive oil just before serving.
    For a Mediterranean style sauce: Add finely sliced red bell pepper, finely sliced sweet onion, pitted and sliced black olives and fresh oregano [NB: Simmer the added vegetables in the sauce until they wilt then add the oregano just before serving]
    For a Spanish style sauce: Add any of the following in any combination [NB: this will need some trial and error here for although they each compliment the other quantities will need to be adjusted to personal taste} ground clove, paprika, cinnamon, parsley, mint, rosemary and thyme

    Oven-Roasted Tomatoes on Foodista

    Garden Fresh Pasta

    freshpasta

    Here is an easy yet refreshing pasta sauce. If you don’t have a garden you can purchase these fresh items from your farmer’s market.

    You will need:
    Italian style plum tomatoes (such as San Marzano) – approximately five per serving
    Fresh Garlic – approximately two cloves/serving
    Fresh Shallot – approximately two cloves/serving
    Good quality olive oil
    Fresh Basil – approximately two TBSP/serving
    Fresh Oregano – approximately one TBSP/serving
    Pepperoncini – approximately one tsp/serving (if you don’t like a little spice you can eliminate this item)
    Fresh or dried pasta – I used Spaghetti Rigati for this recipe [this pasta is slightly thicker than Ange Hair – approximately four ounces dry pasta/serving

    Clean herbs well and chiffonade – set aside [NB: Lay basil leaves flat on cutting surface, stack several leaves then place oregano leaves on top, stack remaining basil leaves on top. Roll basil/oregano bundle into a tube form then finely chiffonade. This method makes it easy to work with the smaller oregano leaves]. Quarter tomatoes and remove all seeds and membrane, cut quarters in half and set aside. In a sauce pot large enough to hold all the tomatoes add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pot. Heat oil until just shimmering, add pepperoncini, garlic and shallot, with a wooden spoon stir until garlic/shallot mixture is just translucent add tomatoes add salt and pepper to taste and cover pot. Cook tomato mixture over medium heat until they break down. When the sauce is broken down mash larger pieces to get a somewhat chunky consistency, cook pasta. When pasta is ready add basil/oregano chiffonade to sauce, plate spaghetti and top with the fresh garden tomato sauce.

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