Thursday, December 1, 2011

Oh baby its cold outside...

Tonight, in honor of the cold(er) weather, I decided to make the ultimate winter weather food...pasta sauce. I am not Italian, and this is not your grandmother's sauce. Every time I make pasta sauce it is slightly different, however, it is ALWAYS super tasty. This time I changed it up a little bit. Remember the huge amount of cayenne peppers I had left over from my garden? Well, I infused them in olive oil for about a month and it made this beautiful green spicy olive oil.

chop everything first
on medium heat, saute garlic and onion until slightly browned
throw in rest of veggies, tomatoes, and spices
Pasta sauce is easy, versatile, and always a crowd pleaser. Plus, you can make a giant pot of it, eat some, and freeze the rest. I do this a lot in the winter because it is so easy. You can cook once and eat 5 or 6 times (if you are single), but that is why I freeze some of it because eating the same thing 5 nights in a row is unbearable.

  • 5 lbs fresh tomatoes (or canned), chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • olive oil (in this case infused with cayenne peppers)
  • 3 tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • black pepper, a lot
  • oregano, dried
  • basil, dried
  • crushed red pepper, a pinch
  • onion powder, a generous sprinkle
Here's what you do:
  • On medium heat, saute the garlic in the olive oil until slightly browned. Toss in onions and saute for a few minutes.
  • Add in peppers
  • In blender, puree half the tomatoes (not necessary but nice)
  • Put rest of tomatoes and tomato puree in pot. Stir thoroughly.
  • Add in spices
  • Stir every few minutes
  • Turn heat down to low, cover, and let simmer for minimum 1 hour

I have to warn you, until all of the flavors blend thoroughly it will smell and even taste a little funny. But after it simmers for a while they start to mesh and the outcome is beautiful. You can easily do this in an hour and a half and have several meals. If I were to eat this all in one week this is what I would do:

  • M: pasta sauce w/ whole wheat pasta, fresh basil, & shredded Parmesan cheese
  • T:  pasta sauce w/ breaded eggplant
  • W: pasta sauce w/ roasted chicken & sauteed spinach
  • T: pasta sauce w/ oysters, scallops, and muscles over whole wheat pasta
  • F: Add some cream in the pasta sauce, reheat w/ sauteed peas & onions, serve w/ shrimp &         asparagus 
Breaded eggplant I made to go with...yumm! So easy too...
1 egg, homemade bread crumbs, 350 deg. oven for 40 min. You can
easily do this while the sauce is simmering.
What is your tip for amazing pasta sauce?

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