17 August 2009

Tomatoes for Later, Pasta for Now

I spent a lot of time in the kitchen yesterday. A lot. Most of the day in fact. I processed an estimated 55 pounds of tomatoes for canning and freezing. It took approximately 7 hours - give or take an hour. (I lost track in the haze of steam.) But not to worry, I had a friend near by to help make the time fly and we breezed through our tomatoes relatively quickly considering our inexperience. We lost some time trying to figure out the food mill. But tossed it to the side and went on with our sauce, seeds and all.

I bought a new food mill for my tomato extravaganza.

steam from the water bath canner

spaghetti sauce

We ended up with 5 quarts of tomatoes (plain, halved), 7 half-pints of tomatoes (crushed), nearly 6 pints of spaghetti sauce (yum), 1 small ziplock back of oven dried tomatoes, and lots and lots of tomato juice ice cubes - all destined for some delightful wintertime meals, if I can muster the patience to wait. That spaghetti sauce is awfully tempting.

But, what is not tempting today is the kitchen. Too much of a good thing yesterday. I went to bed tired last night. And aching. And smelling of a pizzeria. So today I am not interested in another long haul in the kitchen. My legs are too tired and quite frankly, the pots and pans look tired too.

So what to eat? Pasta Verano. You know - like Pasta Primavera ("spring") which I always make in the summer, so I've renamed it - Pasta Verano. Oh, I have another name for it too - "What's-Left-in-the-Fridge Pasta." This is another Tuesday/day-before-the-CSA-pickup meal. (Or Monday, as it were.) It tends to work with whatever happens to be left.

Pasta Verano

olive oil
arugula, spinach, basil - or other green
assorted quantities of left over veggies, including but not limited to:
cherry tomatoes
green beans
summer squash
bell peppers

Chop all the veggies except leave the cherry tomatoes whole. Place on a cookie sheet for roasting - paint with olive oil. Roast at 375 degrees. Delicate veg (squash, tomatoes, beans, peppers) stay in for 15 minutes; hardier veg (carrots, eggplant) can stay in for nearly 30.

Prepare pasta according to directions. Drain past. Add arugula to hot pasta to wilt. Or add fresh basil on top of pasta. For large quantities of pasta, serve with vegetables on the side.


Anne said...

Gorgeous tomato-prep photos!

tom the farmer said...

Your going to learn how to use that food mill if I have to come over and do it myself!

Emily said...

I would welcome a food mill tutorial! I'm sure it was an operator error on my part.