Tuesday, August 5, 2008

My house runneth over...with tomatoes!

Joe went to the farmer's market by himself on Sunday and stocked up on tomatoes, knowing how much I squeal over locally grown, juicy red tomatoes. But when I say stocked up, I mean potentially gallons worth of fresh salsa or marinara sauce coming our way! I think we must have about 15 tomatoes for the two of us to consume this week before they go bad. AH! Where are my canning skills when I need them? Yeah, right...(although I'm considering signing up for a canning course with SlowFood Baltimore at the end of the month. Am I going to have to invest my life savings in canning equipment, though if I want to do this on my own?).

So last night I made a fresh tomato and olive "sauce" for spaghetti. I say "sauce" because this wasn't your typical fluid sauce with a smooth consistency. This was a chunky, hearty sauce that showed off all the ingredients. I used a little too much olive oil to warm up the skillet, but the recipe was otherwise simple and tasty for a quick dinner.

  • Dice 2 medium ripe tomatoes
  • Slice 1 can of medium pitted black or assorted olives
  • Mince a handful of fresh basil leaves
  • Heat olive oil in skillet over medium-high heat
  • Add sliced olives and heaping spoonfuls of garlic (to taste) to skillet and let simmer for about 5 minutes
  • Add diced tomatoes and minced basil
  • Stir and continuing simmering for about 10 minutes, or until your house smells like garlic and olive oil :)
  • Serve over 1/2 pound of boiled spaghetti noodles
  • Sprinkle Parmesan cheese to your liking
We topped this off with glasses of the Cat Amongst the Pigeons 1007 Shiraz I picked up the other day. Simple and savory.

My brother gave me Giada de Laurentiis' Everyday Italian cookbook for my birthday, and I'm excited to start mastering Italian sauces. Don't hold your breath, though. According to the Italians I know, it takes years to master the perfect sauce. Check back in with me when I hit 50.

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