Saturday, August 05, 2006

Flavors of the Garden

[Scroll down to the next post for the Saturday Photo Hunt]

Today I gathered enough tomatoes to make my first batch of "Fresh Sauce and Pasta." This is a simple sauce that doesn't look like much but is very flavorful. If I could figure out a way to make it in the garden, I would. It tastes as if it never left the warmth of the garden. There isn't really a recipe, I just made it up one day when I had an abundance of cherry tomatoes, so I'm not posting a recipe per se. Instead I'll show you how I make it.

This is my gathering basket. Tomatoes, herbs, (oregano, basil, rosemary and parsley) a small cayenne, and a poblano (he didn't make it into the sauce. . .) Come in and get the pasta water on the stove.

Cut the top off the cayenne and make a slit in it, but don't open it all the way. Three cloves of garlic, smashed with the flat of the knife, peeled, and then diced.

Heat a little olive oil in a pan and add the pepper and garlic. When the garlic starts to sizzle, cut the heat and let the garlic "sweat" while you chop the tomatoes. (oh, and remove the pepper)

Since I have such a shady yard, I only grow cherry and grape tomatoes, so it takes a lot of tomatoes and a lot of chopping! I quarter them; the small ones I cut in half. Add them to the pan and give it a stir to mix and turn the heat back up. Bring it up to a simmer.

While that's coming up to a simmer, finely chop the oregano, rosemary, and parsley. Hold the basil, it goes in near the end.

Note that the tomatoes are just starting to give out their juices. Start the pasta when the water boils.

Rough chop the basil. (About 10 leaves)

Hit it with a glub of red wine and some freshly ground pepper.

When the pasta is about a minute from being done, take 1 cup of the pasta water and add to the sauce. It will thicken the sauce.

Serve with garlic bread and a salad. (I spent too much time taking pictures to make a salad today!) The sauce doesn't look like much, but it is so delicious and the flavors are intense.

Tom gives it his seal of approval.

Footnote: It took at least twice as long to upload all these pictures to blogger than it did to make the lunch!

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