Meatless Monday

My daughter likes to call this pasta “Angel’s Red Hair” 

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In keeping with the “Hungry for Change” or even the “Forks Over Knives” documentaries that I have reviewed lately, I thought I would share a favorite family recipe that I have been making for over 25 years.  Farm fresh produce, onions and garlic, olive oil and basil–nothing better that that!  These amounts are to serve 6. (And we love leftovers of this for lunch!)

Onions and Garlic

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Chop the onion.  I used a medium-sized Spanish Onion.
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And then mince the garlic–if you don’t have one, invest in a garlic press.  So much easier than mincing by hand!  I used four cloves.

And Here’s a Handy Tip…

Here’s a technique that helps me avoid one of the most annoying tasks when I cook–peeling tomatoes.  I learned this technique way back when I helped my mom bottle tomatoes every summer.
First, bring a large pot of water to boil.  Then wash your tomatoes (I used about 3 lbs of Roma tomatoes.
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Drop the washed tomatoes carefully into the boiling water.
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The water will stop boiling, but that’s ok.  Some of the tomatoes will float to the top, so push them back down with a spoon so they stay in the water.  After about a minute, scoop up one of the tomatoes and prick the skin with a sharp knife. If the skin splits open, they are ready.

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Scoop the tomatoes out into a strainer.  Put them under running water to cool and stop them from cooking further.

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Core and peel the tomatoes.  The skins will slip right off!

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Then chop the tomatoes and set aside.
Make sure your water comes back to a boil, and if you are using spaghetti, start cooking it in the boiling water.  If you are using angel hair or capellini pasta, wait to cook it (It only takes about 2-3 minutes of cooking time.)
Heat about 2 TBSP olive oil in a large pan, then add the onions and garlic and sautee over medium heat until soft and translucent.

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Add the tomatoes.

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Stir and bring to a slow simmer.  Season to taste with salt, and if desired, pepper (I never use pepper in this recipe, but some people really love it!)  If you are using the thin pasta–angel hair or capellini–put it in the water now.

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When it has come to an easy simmer, add chopped fresh basil and stir.  Check the pasta to see if it is tender, and when it is, drain the pasta.

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Now dinner is ready to serve!

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This is a great main dish for a light supper, or even a side dish if you’d like to have some grilled chicken or fish.  If you’d like serve with shredded parmesan cheese.  Lately we have been enjoying the Lassen’s brand Rosemary Sourdough Bread when we eat Italian, too.  Tonight I’ll make some sauteed Italian Squash, and we’ll have a great meal!
Happy Meatless Monday!

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