Sunday, I resolved to post more on this blog. And then Sunday, the batteries in my camera died. I have a hard time posting when I am void of photos, probably because I can’t stand cookbooks or recipes without photos. If I don’t have an image of what I am striving for, how am I supposed to make it correctly? At Graphic Design conferences, the best thought leaders say that your best ideas come from someone else’s…nothing is completely new. Look at layouts or images, take different pieces that you like, and make something of your own. I like to see pictures of what I am going to make…am I too appearance driven? Don’t judge me 🙂
Recently, I have been on a made-totally-from-scratch kick. Hence, last week’s very involved frosting. I got into a long conversation with some ladies last night in which AR told us about her homemade yogurt, which sounds fantastic and may be a project later this week, and Mimi shared stories of growing up in Ethiopia, days full of family and fellowship – making cottage cheese from scratch and using natural herbs and plants to soothe ailments. Inspiring, really.
Sunday we met some fantastic folks at church. They moved down here from Dallas in the last few weeks, and we had the pleasure of having them over for dinner. In light of the made-totally-from-scratch kick, I arrived at home an hour before our guests were to arrive with pounds of tomatoes, carrots, and beef. Begin italian frenzy.
I made a fresh Roasted Vegetable pasta sauce that takes a little time, but it is a foolproof, add-whatever-you-have-in-the-fridge recipe. It freezes well too, so use up your veggies that are on their last day, before they go bad.
Roasted Vegetable Pasta Sauce
3 lb vine ripe tomatoes (use roma, or greenhouse, or whatever you can get your hands on)
2 T. rosemary
1 T. thyme
3 T. olive oil
1 head of garlic.
any other veggies you have (increase olive oil 1 T for each extra lb of veggies)
Preheat oven to 450
Line 2 baking sheets with foil
Separate cloves out of the head of garlic, but do not remove outmost skin of clove. Place in oven-safe dish.
Slice carrots into1/2 inch pieces, roughly chop onion, and cut tomatoes in half. Toss veggies in herbs and olive oil. Place veggies on baking sheets, tomatoes should be cut-side down. Roast in oven for 40 minutes.
Also place garlic in the oven and roast 40 minutes.
Remove vegetables from oven, and with tongs, remove skins from tomatoes (this is not imperative, but it will give you a smoother sauce.
Pull outer skin off of garlic cloves to reveal a soft, roasted garlic clove. (Roasting the garlic removes its bite. You can eat a whole roasted garlic clove without being in danger of warding off all house guests. This roasted garlic is also great smashed on a baguette slice, or atop a chic salad.)
Now, for the variations.
For a chunky, lighter pasta sauce: remove vegetables and garlic from baking sheet and dish and place in bowl. Beat with electric mixer until homogeneous.
For a chunky, thicker pasta sauce: remove vegetables and garlic from baking sheet and dish and place in bowl. Beat with electric mixer until homogeneous. Pour mixture into a strainer over the sink to rid the sauce of excess liquid.
For a smooth, lighter pasta sauce: remove vegetables and garlic from baking sheet and dish and place in blender or food processor. Process until smooth.
For a smooth, thicker pasta sauce: remove vegetables and garlic from baking sheet and dish and place in blender or food processor. Process until smooth. Pour mixture into a strainer over the sink to rid the sauce of excess liquid.
Freeze extra sauce in airtight containers.
2 lb lean ground beef
2 T. oregano
1 c. italian breadbrumbs
2 eggs, lightly beaten
4 T. olive oil
Combine all ingredients sans olive oil and and form into small balls, 1.5 inches in diameter. Place half of meatballs in nonstick skillet over medium heat, drizzle with 2 T. olive oil and rotate until cooked all the way through. Repeat with second half of meatballs.
Combine with 16 oz.Whole Wheat Linguini, cooked.