I have a confession: When I first started this blog, I wanted this to include both home improvements and cooking. With the cooking part being the surviving aspect after the house is done. Oh who am I kidding, the house will never be "done"-done. Maybe just dormant. Yeah, that's the ticket: cooking keeps the party going & becomes the host while renovation is napping.
So, with that said, I have another confession: I am bad at following recipes. Except for baking, (and even then I get liberal on my spices,) I can't remember the last recipe I followed to a "T". Every time it's "substitute red onions for yellow" or "add cumin" or "this needs double the heavy cream".... What I am good at is improvising and making my own recipes. So, I am turning over a new leaf (though, I can't remember turning over an old leaf... I must have?) and writing down my recipes. This will 1) allow me to re-create any successes again and again instead of just reminiscing about that great-dinner-that-was, 2) review good recipes that I actually follow, and 3) share my cooking with the two people who read this.*
My apologies in advanced for not measuring. I try to eyeball the amounts, but have yet whipped out the ol' cups and spoons to get precise. Shame on me.
*I find it immaterial that the two people that read this are also the two people I talk to daily about what I cook.
Quick & Effortless Spicy Tomato Cream Sauce
½ box pasta
2 packages cherry tomatoes (16 oz, total)
1-2 tsp rosemary
pinch fennel (crush between fingers)
½ tsp minced onions
1 tsp Italian seasonings
~¼ c heavy cream
2-3 Tbsp tomato paste
½ tsp red pepper flakes
~¼ c sugar
Though I have never made my own tomato sauce from scratch, (a fact that astounds pretty much everyone,) I have read about it. A lot. And when I found myself with not one, not two... but THREE containers of cherry tomatoes, something had to give! At first I thought I would do a basic pasta tossed with broken tomatoes, but then I saw the almost-gone-but-still-lingering-around carton of heavy cream, and an idea was formed!
Starting with 2 rounds of olive oil, I threw in the garlic for about a minute (don't let it burn!), and then added the red pepper flakes. Tossed in the tomatoes & coated with the garlic, olive oil, and flakes, cooking for about 3 minutes.
Then comes the fun: Mashing! We do the Monster Mash!! Taking a masher (preferably one with small holes and more plastic instead of one of those wire wavey-thingamabobs,)... mash! It's best to slowly press down and NOT vigorously stop as tomatoes? they are juicy. And they burst. So, after making mush, add the rest of the spices and let simmer for, oh, 5 minutes.
Then mix in the tomato paste and simmer for at least 10 minutes to thicken (when you swipe a spatula through, the sauce will not overtake the streak of pan left behind.) Now, even though you should have been tasting & adjusting as you go, taste. And add if needed (like more salt! more red pepper!)
Now, for the pièce de résistance: Cream!! Add in the heavy cream. Heat through and let simmer if you'd like for it to thicken more.
And, after alil' bit of this:
And alil' bit of Parmesan, you get..............
I am telling you, this was delicious. It was quite spicy, (I scaled down the measurements in this post,) because I kinda spaced out when I was sprinkling in more flakes, only to realize I had been sprinkling for a while... Oops. STILL GOOD! Still good.