Wednesday, April 15, 2009

In Tomato We Trust

Forgive me my haughty irreverance of last week. Tomatoes, you are the fairest of the fair. Fresh, frozen, canned, or dried, you are patiently tiding me through this culinary lapse, this fussy time of year when it's hard to know what to eat.

Last night, Patrick and I celebrated his spring break from evening classes by whipping up our favorite of the Old Standbys: Pasta Pomodoro. It's the fastest of the fast, and absolutely cannot be beat with a glass of good red. (Last night, it was Sebastiani Cabernet.) A couple cooperative vegetables, pasta, olive oil, and parmesan cheese, and it's dinner, folks. Enjoy.

Pasta Pomodoro
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
2 15-oz cans stewed tomatoes OR 6 fresh tomatoes
1 medium red bell pepper, diced (frozen peppers are fine, if that's what you've got)a few sundried tomatoes (optional)
a liberal sprinkling of basil, thyme, and oregano
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, if you like some kick
salt and black pepper to taste

1/2 lb pasta, cooked (we like rotini, gemelli, bow-ties, or good old-fashioned spaghetti)
ample freshly grated parmesan cheese

Warm the oil in a big frying pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and onions, and saute until translucent. Add the tomatoes and peppers, herbs and spices. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened suitably. Meanwhile, your house will smell better and better. Strangers passing by on the street may knock at your door and propose marriage. Once it's satisfactorily saucy looking, serve it over the hot pasta, topped with cheese.

Note: For more lavish occasions, we have been known to add eggplant, green beans, broccoli, or spinach to the saute. Also, when we have them, Tofurky Italian Sausage almost always makes its way into the pan.


Stephanie said...

Looks delicious!

Melissa said...

We make something similar that I found in a Marcella Hazan book-- it's wonderful!

ChristyACB said...

Great recipe! I never thought of the cayenne! We make something similar using dried hot peppers and only slightly warm dried peppers but when those are gone, this doesn't get made until the next harvest.

Can I! You plate far more elegantly than I ever do. I'd be pink in the face for you to see mine!

Kristina said...

Christy-- I have to say, this tastes best when made with fresh tomatoes and peppers. But when you're jonesing for summer and it's only April, you make do with your dried and canned stuff.

I'm only able to plate the way I do by virtue of my ever-patient husband, who's always hovering over his dinner (getting cold) waiting while I try approximately 16 different shots in five different camera modes. :)

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