Monday, June 20, 2011

Making Ahead

Our herb garden is in serious abundance these days. Time to make pasta sauce!

Simple Sauce:
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 onion, chopped
2- 3 T olive oil
about 1 lb of ground beef
7 roma tomatoes
handful of shredded carrots
1 celery stalk
handful of chopped fresh spinach
handfuls of basil, oregano, thyme and parsley
salt & pepper
1 tspn half & half
1 tspn sugar
water (or broth)
parmesan and mozzarella cheese

In a large pot saute onions and garlic in olive oil. Add ground beef and cook until done. Chop 3 roma tomatoes and toss them in pot. Chop the remaining 4 romas and toss them in the food processor or blender and blend to an almost but not quite smooth consistency. Add the pureed tomatoes and other veggies to the pot. Chop herbs, taking out stems (unless you don't mind them). Throw in pot with remaining ingredients. I add about 1/3 Cup of water or broth to thin out the sauce a bit. Cover and bring to boil.Then lower heat and let simmer for about 20-25 minutes.
Cook your rotini... I used about 3 Cups, give or take.  When the pasta is near done, drain and toss in the pot with the tomato sauce, mixing the noodles and sauce together well. This is a good time to give it a taste and add any additional spices you might think it needs. In my case, it was salt and some fresh basil. Remove pot from heat and place in casserole dish.

I layer my noodles and sauce mixture with parmesan and mozzarella cheese. Bake 30 to 35 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

This makes about 12 servings, which will feed our family of four 3 times. You can divide it up and freeze it or just have a pasta-eating marathon for the next few days.

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