Here goes nothin’.
This is what I thought to myself when I started cooking on Monday. If Chef Sam and Lauren can wing it, so can I! I was super inspired by them after this past weekend.
I didn’t really ‘wing’ it though, I just attempted something I’ve never done before. This is BIG for me since I’ve been sticking to leftovers and the same simple recipes for over a month.
So listen to this.
Instead of buying a jar of pasta sauce… I made my own. I didn’t buy a can of tomatoes and then add spices, I used fresh tomatoes and made the whole dang thing. Everything from scratch!
First I found these instructions and learned how to blanch my tomatoes for the sauce.
Blanching and braising are words I had heard on the Food Network but never really knew what they were. This is sad yet true but now I’ve done one! I’m a little proud.
I had one big tomato leftover from the SOJ Chef Demo and a ton of cherry (?) tomatoes leftover from our CSA box.
I began the process by slicing an X on the top of each of the tomatoes. This makes it easier to peel the skin off once they’ve been blanched.
Then I cooked them in boiling water for about 1 minute.
After that I immediately removed them from the pot and dumped them into a bowl filled with ice cold water to stop the cooking process. Does anyone know why you need to stop the cooking? Just wondering.
Then I peeled off the skin which took forever but I didn’t mind. I find cooking to be quite relaxing! And I know that next time when I use big tomatoes it won’t take me much time at all.
Once they were all peeled and very slimy, I roughly chopped them into bit size pieces.
Time to start the sauce. I found this super simple recipe from Cooking Light.
I only had basil and garlic left to prep once the tomatoes were done. I’m a dried herbs kinda gal but this fresh basil really made a difference!
Everything went into the pot (per the recipe) to cook for 25 minutes. When it had about 10 minutes left, I cooked up the penne pasta for about 8 minutes.
After I was done, I ran off to yoga while Al came home to eat the dish by himself. I came back to a positive review! Often times he tells me a dish is good when really it’s not that great but this sauce was very tasty. I added extra garlic and spices because we like it that way so there was a great kick to it.
So tasty, so healthy, so fresh.
Do you have a specialty that you make from scratch?
P.S. If you’re like my mom and don’t like chunky sauce, just use an immersion or regular blender to smooth it out!