Monday, July 24, 2006

New recipe, new words

'Tis the season for wonderful fresh produce. Summer is my least favorite time of year, but it can't be beat when it comes to all the great fruits and vegetables that are available. You probably know someone whose garden has given them too many tomatoes. Snag some for yourself and make some yummy pasta sauce!

I made some yesterday, and it was not half bad. Amazingly, I had no recipe. I just had a bag of tomatoes that needed to be used, and a good idea of how to make them into a lovely spaghetti sauce. And whattaya know, it worked. It's easy, it tastes good, and it doesn't require much time, aside from the oven part. Here's the recipe!

Skwerly's Roasted Tomato Pasta Sauce
serves 2-3

7-8 medium vine ripe tomatoes
7-8 cloves garlic, peeled and stem ends trimmed off
1 oz. jarred roasted bell pepper (about 1/2 medium pepper if you want to roast it yourself), diced
1 ½ tsp. basil
1 ½ tsp. oregano
1 ½ tbsp. minced white onion
¼ tsp. hot pepper flakes, more or less to taste
kosher salt
fresh black pepper
olive oil
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar

Core and de-seed the tomatoes, leaving them whole. Place in a roasting dish. Put one clove of garlic in each tomato. Sprinkle the tomato tops (cut portion) liberally with basil and oregano, and drizzle with olive oil. Roast uncovered in a 350° oven for about 40-45 minutes, or until tomatoes are wrinkled and saggy looking. Remove from oven and cover with foil. Let rest until slightly cooled.

When tomatoes are cool enough to handle, remove the skins (they should slip off easily). Dump the tomatoes, garlic, and all juices into a medium saucepan. Stir with a fork to break up large pieces. Remove any brown pieces of garlic or stray tomato skin. Bring to a simmer. Season with kosher salt and black pepper. Add pepper flakes, roasted pepper, minced onion, and balsamic vinegar.

Simmer until liquid is reduced and sauce is thickened, stirring occasionally. Serve over hot fettucine or spaghetti with plenty of fresh Parmagiano Reggiano.

(Chef's note: Next time I make this, I will probably add some tomato paste to thicken it more and make it a little richer.)


New words! I love new words. Reading Dean Koontz always leaves me with plenty of vocabulary that I was previously not familiar with. Ginormous nerd that I am, I write them down and look them up. Here are a few I've recently defined:

Antediluvian- in or from the time before the biblical flood; extremely old-fashioned or out-of-date; prehistoric

Cabal- a group of conspirators or plotters, particularly one formed for political purposes; a secret plot or conspiracy, especially a political one

Ersatz- imitating or presented as a substitute for something of superior quality

A moissanite is an artificial diamond, Lincoln. It's Mickey Mouse, man. Spurious. Not genuine. And it's worth... Fuck-all.

(Ok, so I didn't exactly use "ersatz" in a sentence, but that quote demonstrates the definition perfectly!) *g*

Jejune- uninteresting and intellectually undemanding; lacking maturity or sophistication

Vestigial- remaining after nearly all the rest has disappeared or dwindled; having become degenerate or functionless in the course of time


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