Thursday, September 22, 2011


Mutant basil plucked from my mom's garden and replanted in our little kitchen.

At the end of every summer, I manically raid the farmer's markets/family gardens/CSA share and make pasta sauce in an attempt to make the most of the sun and soil's delicious gifts to us. I also love spending hours on end in the kitchen, chopping, concocting, and making a mess.

Approximate Ingredients
this sauce is vegan! but you could definitely add meat if you reallly want to
makes almost a gallon, perfect for freezing and dipping into when winter makes you miss farm fresh veggies
  • 4 lbs(ish) of tomatoes, skinned (I used only about half of this and wish I had bought more!)
  • 5 large carrots, roughly diced
  • 5 celery stalks, roughly chopped
  • 1 whole large , diced
  • 2 big sweet peppers (like bell), diced *seen here are 3 peppers, which is delicious but too much
  • 1 whole head of garlic, finely chopped or pressed
  • 1 cup of chopped mushrooms
  • 4 TBS of olive oil
  • 1 cup red wine
  • Balsalmic vinegar, to taste (about 3 tbs)
  • 1 TBS ground ginger (fresh ginger would be even better if you have it and remember to dig it out!)
  • 1 medium-sized handful of sugar
  • Fresh basil, chopped, to taste
  • Dried red pepper or pepper flakes, to taste (I used two dried chiles)
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
I put this together in a pretty boring, normal way...most importantly, the oil starts, followed by the onion, a little salt, and garlic a minute later (on top of the onion, so you don't burn it!). What is most important is cooking it for a long time on a low heat, letting it reduce, and tasting as you go. 

All of those beautiful veggies could be roasted beforehand to make an even yummier, smokier sauce. Other veggies (zucchini!) or spices (sage, bay leaf, oregano) would make wonderful additions as well, I just prefer a simple sauce that is more versatile.

Tonight, I'm using this to make a variation on shrimp creole. Tomorrow night, PIZZA!

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