Wednesday, February 07, 2007

quick and dirty pasta (for you, denise)

so i was making this pasta the other night (for lunches this week) and talking to THK on the phone, and she made me PROMISE to show pictures and tell her how to make it. i actually have this recipe in the cookbook that's part of my actual website--the one that needs overhauling and is currently living on a somewhat dysfunctional server. so--i guess i will post it again. but first, a disclaimer: i measure NOTHING while making this, so you know, consider it fluid.

this is a basic tomato sauce that i make all the time and then add stuff to. it takes 3 pots, and is done in 4 steps:

roasted red peppers
step one: roast two red peppers. i do this by putting them in the oven under the broiler and turning them every few minutes until they are black all over. you can also do this on the burner of a gas stove if you are lucky and have one, which i don't. when they are all black and charred-looking, put them into a paper bag and roll it up and let them steam in there until they are cool enough to peel and chop. meanwhile...

tomato sauce in progress
step two: throw the following into a pot: 1 large can of progresso crushed tomatoes (i am brand loyal on some things), 1 small (8-oz) can of tomato sauce, and many piles of dried spices. it's about a tablespoon each (or maybe a little more) of basil, oregano, and parsley; 1 bay leaf; 3 shakes of cumin and 1 of turmeric; salt and fresh black pepper. turn this on med-high until it comes to a boil, and then simmer it for the rest of the time you are cooking, stirring occasionally. this will be done when you're ready for it, and you really can't overcook it, so just let it go. meanwhile...

step three: put water on to boil for the pasta. i use whole grain kamut pasta from eden organics, which is great and has more protein in it than whole wheat. however, you can use any pasta you want for this. have at it. cook according to package directions. and you know, drain it when it's done. meanwhile...

garlic and olive oil



step four: mince some garlic and put it into a large skillet with some olive oil. (note: normally i make this with hot italian turkey sausage, which i would take out of its casings and saute first in the skillet with the olive oil and garlic. however, this time, they were out of it, so i tried some aidells sundried tomato chicken sausage instead. since it was already cooked, i just sliced it up and sauteed it last--it's good, but lacks the spicy flair i want. i should have added some crushed red pepper. but i digress...) saute mushrooms until they begin to release liquid, then add them to the tomato sauce. saute sliced sausage, and add that to the tomato sauce, too. add the red pepper last. salt and pepper to taste, then toss the tomato sauce with all the add-ins with the pasta. voila--you are ready to eat, or in my case, you are ready to pack it into containers for lunches.

the beauty of this "recipe" is step four. in step four, you can basically saute whatever the hell you want and add it to the tomato sauce. here are some suggestions:
  • fresh veggies like zucchini, broccoli, asparagus, tomatoes, etc for a primavera thing
  • chicken, rosemary, and a little cream for a pink sauce thing (also good with spinach)
  • ground beef and pork for a bolognese thing
  • skip the saute altogether and just add some fresh basil and a bunch of different cheeses for a marguerita thing
get wild, people--use your imagination. make good pasta.


Allegra said...

yum, that looks fantastic!

gray la gran said...

yeah!!!! THANK YOU! great pictures too :)
i'm going to try this after i eat up all my mediterranean chicken stew i haven't made yet.

Em said...

Any chance you'll ever post the recipe for your "nowhere to be found in a cookbook with the word 'healthy' in the title" enchiladas?

jackie said...

heh--emily, that's yet another recipe that's on the currently-out-of-comission website. i will see if i can dig it up. i will definitely email it to you even if i can't find the pics to repost. :)

Flaurella said...

Looks delish!
I am a Progresso brand gal, too.

painter girl said...

Sounds delish. I can't wait to try this recipe. My hubby loves sausage and the whole thing looks to die for!

painter girl said...

Hey Jackie,
I made this last night for my man and he loved it as did I. It was wonderful and easy! And lots of left overs waiting in the fridge for lunch. I can't wait to try your other recipes. Thanks.