Thursday, 12 July 2012

And For Tonight's Dinner...

This has become a favourite in our home.  We had it one day at my mom and dad's and my daughter gobbled up her bowl, then looked at me and asked, "Can you make this for OUR dinner, Mommy?!"

So here it's simple, fresh, healthy and SO delicious.  We eat it at least a couple times a month.

Simple Pasta with Fresh Tomatoes, Garlic and Basil

Tomatoes (I'm using Hot House for tonight's dinner...use as many as needed for your family)
Garlic cloves, crushed - approx. 3-5
Basil, chopped - a good 1/4 cup or so
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

* Optional:  chopped onion

Prepare a bowl of ice water and keep off to the side.  Then bring a full pot of water to a boil.  Wash tomatoes well and cut a small "X" in the bottom of each tomato.  Boil the tomatoes till the skin begins to fall off - normally 30-60 seconds.  Take out of boiling water and transfer into bowl of ice water.  After the tomatoes have cooled down, you can easily peel your tomatoes.  I'd wait a good 5 minutes before peeling them as they can be quite hot.

From here, I crush the tomatoes into another pot by hand.  Once crushed, I set aside on the stove on a low temperature so they begin to cook.

In a separate pan, I heat up olive oil.  Then add my crushed garlic and lightly cook it - today I am also going to try something different and add a drizzle of balsamic vinegar (thanks to Canadian Living magazine for the idea).

I then transfer the garlic to the could also add chopped onion to the garlic mix (which I did today - a whole red onion chopped) and caramelize it before adding to the tomatoes for extra flavour. 

I then bring the heat up and wait till the tomatoes begin to bubble slightly, stirring often.  I wash and finely chop my basil and add it as well as the salt and pepper.  I like to keep this on low for awhile to bring out all the flavours.

Then toss the sauce with a cooked pasta of your choice (we've used Spaghetti, Fettuccine and Penne...all winners).  I cook my pasta till it is still a bit firm since this particular sauce is quite runny and the pasta will absorb much of the liquid.

My daughter and husband sprinkle some Parmesan Cheese onto theirs...I prefer Nutritional Yeast which gives it a nutty/cheesy flavour but is not a dairy product and has many health benefits.

It was a winner once again.  My daughter's bowl was almost clean when finished.  And my husband's new khaki man capris are proof he gobbled up his meal...he's presently washing off tomato splatter.  A sign of a good meal, I'd say.

 My Basil Plant
 The tomatoes have a cold bath
 Fresh Basil, ready for cutting
 All the ingredients smells amazing
 Delicious!  My husbands plate, before devouring it
 And I prefer mine in my favourite big bowl, with Nutritional Yeast on top

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