tomatoes on a summer’s day

Well…it’s been a while.

back with a vengeance, fresh from the farm

In between moving, class-registering, grad-school-orientating, vacationing, and witnessing the greatest musical act on the planet, I inadvertently took a bit of a hiatus from the blog…but all that ends now. I hope (famous last words from someone about to start grad school).

Current/future projects include experimenting with more Arab & Moroccan recipes, trying my hand at a few Julia Child-inspired challenges (yes, I know, her recipes have been more than adequately covered in the blogosphere…but a recent visit to her kitchen at the National Museum of American History inspired me, what can I say), and visiting/reviewing DC’s most interesting eateries.

Also, beginning an academic voyage through Arabic, gender, literature, development, and Islamic Studies.

Also, I’m going to do my best to buy produce only from local farmstands and farmer’s markets (for as much of the year as I can) and reserve my trips to the gleaming, beautiful Social Safeway of Georgetown for staples, spices, and booze…so hopefully my posts will be very seasonally (and preservation-) oriented from here on out.

Speaking of, today’s recipe is thanks to my dear friend Megan, who taught me how to make a superb, simple, sumptuous red pasta sauce, Roman style, from scratch. There’s no better time to make it than now, while tomatoes are still in season and basil is happily growing a mile a minute, so read on for the key to delicious pasta goodness…

rosy red

Roman Style Red Sauce & Pasta (for two)

You’ll need:

2-3 fresh tomatoes, grated (cut in half and grate all but the skins with a cheese grater, reserving seeds and juice)
1 onion, chopped
4-5 cloves garlic, peeled but left whole
1 zucchini (or whatever fresh vegetable you have lying around…eggplant, pepper, etc.), diced
Olive oil
Salt & Pepper
Fresh herbs: rosemary, thyme, basil, and sage are my favorites. Substitute dried herbs if you need to
2 T sugar
2 T tomato paste
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 servings pasta of your choice
Grated parmesan (for serving)

Put a pot of salted water on to boil and prepare the pasta per manufacturer instructions.

Meanwhile, heat up 2 T of olive oil in a saucepan on medium low heat and cook the whole garlic cloves for several minutes; next, add the onions and cook them until they turn translucent. Then add any other vegetable you’re adding to the mix and cook for  few more minutes.

cook em up

Next, pour in the grated tomato and juice, a teaspoon of salt, the sugar, the herbs (whole, like the garlic cloves), tomato paste, and spices.

she got sauce

Cook the sauce on medium low to medium high heat until it reduces to a thick pasta sauce. While it reduces, test it periodically for taste. You will probably want to add a bit more salt (maybe quite a bit more) – to balance out the natural sweetness of the tomatoes.

reduce, recycle, reuse

Megan pointed out that Italians never serve pasta alongside sauce, they just serve pasta (which happens to have sauce on it, as a matter of fact). So mix it all up together and serve it combined, with a healthy topping of grated parm.


4 thoughts on “tomatoes on a summer’s day

  1. Yum! Gosh, this makes me miss you!

    Been meaning to tell you … I have been making a lot of salads based on one I got at Cafe Clock in Fes. Basically just salad Marocaine (or any variation) plus chickpeas and sprinkled with ras al hanut, which makes it kind of awesome. The Cafe Clock version also has fresh goat cheese, which makes it even awesomer.

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