Thursday, April 29, 2010
We had some bits of grilled zucchini, tomato, onion, and bell pepper leftover from the kabobs earlier this week, so we decided to make this sauce and serve it over pasta, with a big green salad on the side. I'm always happy when I get to make use of leftovers like this!
Other cooked/grilled vegetables that would be equally tasty: eggplant, squash, fennel, celery, carrots, artichoke hearts, mushrooms, or cauliflower. You need about one cup total, chopped or sliced.
I pretty much followed Bittman's recipe exactly, except that we added some minced garlic about a minute before we added the tomatoes.
He says this recipe makes enough sauce to coat about a pound of pasta. Not for me! I'm one of those people who like just a little pasta with their sauce, not the other way around. I like there to be extra sauce left on the plate after the noodles are gone so I can mop it up with a big hunk of crusty bread. So if you are one of those people, it might only coat half a pound of pasta. Either way, the end result is a thick, chunky, delicious sauce that is very simple and quick to make.
Fast Vegetable Tomato Sauce
adapted from Mark Bittman - How to Cook Everything Vegetarian
Serves 4, enough for one pound of pasta (unless you like a lot of sauce, like I do, and then it might only coat half a pound)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or butter
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced, if you want
One 24- to 32-ounce can whole tomatoes, drained and chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup chopped or sliced cooked vegetables
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
Chopped parsley or fresh basil leaves for garnish (optional)
Add the oil to a large skillet and heat over medium-high heat. When hot, add the onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, for a couple of minutes, until soft. Add the garlic, if using, and cook for another minute. Add the tomatoes and a good sprinkling of salt and pepper.
Let the tomatoes cook for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. They will break apart and the mixture will thicken during this time. Add the vegetables, and cook until heated through.
Taste, adjust the seasoning as necessary, and immediately toss with pasta, or spoon over polenta, spaghetti squash, chicken, etc. The possibilities are kind of endless with this one. You can also make this ahead of time and refrigerate for up to several days until ready to use, just reheat gently before serving.