It was a Saturday night and we were going out to a fundraiser for the local children's theater. Dinner had to be healthy and quick, and we were going swimming in the afternoon to enjoy the Indian summer weather and get in some activity before the evening's sit.
What to make? I searched the internet and then found the answer on my bookshelf. I'd ordered extra tomatoes and needed to use them up. I used Marcella Hazan's Essentials of Italian Cooking to make the sauce - first halving the tomatoes and cooking them for 10 minutes in a saucepan, then running them through the foodmill and back into the saucepan with a chopped onion, two carrots and some celery.
When we got home from the pool, I heated the sauce while I let the water boil for pasta (a combo of white, brown rice and whole wheat spaghetti). It cooked for about 45 minutes. At minute 30 I poured in a half tablespoon of olive oil and stirred. The original recipe called for 1/3 of a cup, but I wanted a bit of fat to catch the flavor of the dish and help it stick to the noodles.
This photo is a professional version from Food 52. Mine didn't need the butter or the cheese.
Round salad(kumquats, radishes, cucumber on red romaine lettuce with balsamic) - whole wheat spaghetti with blender marinara, pea & mushroom sauté.
This is a fun and colorful meal. I had a blender out because my daughter and I did the smoothie challenge on You tube (only a sip or two of each smoothie, only one red item in each, and hours of belly laughs from the video)
For the sauce: In a blender, blend a 28 oz can if tomatoes with 2 cloves peeled. 1 t dried oregano and 1 t dried thyme. Place in 3 qt saucepan on low, add a splash of red wine or red wine vinegar if you feel like it. Cook for an hour or so until it makes a thick red sauce.
For the pea sauté - slice an onion (I used some big spring onions). Heat a sauté pan on medium with some olive oil spray. Sauté onion with mushrooms (I sliced fresh shiitake and king oyster) then add 1 lb English peas, shelled (I shelled them into the pan) I added 2 T of water, then sprinkled with salt, pepper, shallot greens and cilantro flowers.
Trader Joes provided the spaghetti, canned tomatoes, cucumbers, kumquats, Balsalmic vinegar and shiitake mushrooms. My local farm stand provided the peas, onions, green shallots, cilantro flowers and radishes. I had the oyster mushrooms left from a trip to the farmers market.
I find myself making this more and more as we have a drought in California. Saute garlic in a bit of spray in a deep frypan, add a couple of handfuls of pasta and a cup of water with a teaspoon of soy sauce, and stir until the pasta is cooked (about 2 minutes longer than the time on the box) See it here with kid friendly peas & carrots - but it works for broccoli and mushrooms too! In fact, it's often the choice when there's nothing in the house for lunch (or even a packed lunch in a thermos)
After I made up the recipe from a memory of a podcast, I found one here.
Verdict? Lots of work, but delicious. Here are some process photos. I got the tofu to look like that by putting it in my sprayed nonstick Scanpan for about 4 minutes a side (only spray pan once).
Our family loves Thai takeout and a movie on a Saturday night. I wanted to have a healthier option, so I modified this recipe.
1/2 box w/w fettuccine noodles
1/2 lb mushrooms, sliced
2-3 field roast sausages
2 leeks, white & light green parts only, sliced
1 shallot, thinly sliced
2 c broccoli florets
2 carrots, peeled & sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 c water
1 T soy sauce
1t maple syrup
1 1/2 t dark soy sauce or kecap manis
Boil noodles according to package directions, then drain & rinse.
Heat nonstick sauté pan on medium high flame.. Spray pan and cook mushrooms in batches and set cooked mushrooms aside in a bowl. it took me 3, depends on size of your pan. I use a 12" scanpan that's 3" deep.
Then cook sausage pieces in batches and add to the mushrooms. Spray the pan again if necessary, then add the vegetables (carrot, broccoli, shallot, leek garlic) to the empty pan. Add the water if the vegetables seem to stick, and when they are crisp tender, add the soy sauces & maple syrup.
Add the noodles, mushrooms and cooked sausage to the pan. Toss until everything is hot, adding more water if it seems too dry.
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