Thursday, August 6, 2009

Pasta Night

Tonight I actually used something I grew. My tomato plant has been sputtering along, so I don't have any actual tomatoes, but to my delight, I found a recipe using tomato leaves. It's a tomato sauce that uses the leaves for an extra punch of flavor. I used the tomatoes from my CSA, so I stayed pretty natural. For a side, I made a buttermilk herb dressing that went on iceberg lettuce, tomatoes and red onion. After the previous night's fiasco of over flavor and the dressing last night being very strong, I'm wondering if the garlic I got is somehow more pungent than normal. I should remember to halve the garlic with this particular bulb.

Leafy Tomato Sauce
(Adapted from "Cooking by Hand," by Paul Bertolli)

2 T olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
5 lbs fresh tomatoes, halved
10 to 15 tomato leaves from unsprayed plants
Cooked pasta for serving

1. In a large pot, heat olive oil on medium heat, add onion and garlic, and cook until soft, about 10 minutes.
2. Add tomatoes, turn heat to high and bring to a boil, stirring and mashing to break up tomatoes. Turn heat down and simmer, uncovered, until mixture has thickened, about an hour.
3. Pass mixture though a food mill or coarse strainer to remove skins and seeds. Return sauce to pot and season with salt to taste. Ten minutes before serving, heat to a simmer and stir whole tomato leaves into sauce. Ladle sauce onto cooked pasta; let leaves stay behind in pot.

Makes about 2 quarts.

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