• Meta

  • April 2015
    M T W T F S S
    « Mar   May »
  • Categories

  • Archives

  • Advertisements

Quick Hit: Pantry Item Remix

Not too long ago, a visitor left some food items in my pantry that might not otherwise appear in my kitchen in that combination.  Along with a half jar of orange marmalade, my fridge now was host to about three-fourths of a jar of pre-made tomato basil pasta sauce, as well as two bell pepper halves – one orange and one red. While I don’t usually use ready-made pasta sauce, I don’t like to let food go to waste either, and it’s easy to improve upon jarred pasta sauces and tailor them to your taste.

Not looking to play a round of stump the cook, I opted to leave the orange marmalade out of it. If you don’t want to use that for breakfast, you can probably improvise a nice orange glaze for your next chicken or pork dish.

Instead, after roughly dicing the two pepper halves and letting the sauce come to a slow simmer in a largish pot over medium-low heat, I added the peppers, as well as:

  • two carrots, cut into half-circles (I like them a bit chunky but you can opt for thin circles if you have the knife dexterity – or dice the carrots),
  • about 1/2 – 1 teaspoon capers,
  • a spring or two of fresh oregano (greek),
  • one small anchovy fillet (the kind that come in those tiny cans or in small glasses),
  • and a splash of sherry (optional – you could try red wine too).

Stir well, and let the sauce simmer on low heat until the flavors have melded and the vegetables have reached the state of tenderness you prefer. This can be anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes. Keep stirring occasionally and make sure the heat is not too high or things might burn. Note that thicker carrots will take longer, and if you don’t like too much crunch there, you should consider pre-cooking them a bit before adding them to the sauce.

Serve the sauce over spaghetti or fettuccine or even farfalle or similar robust pasta. I like a high ratio of noodle to sauce but you know what you like best. Add grated Parmesan if you like.

I tried a similar sauce set up at a later date but with a large can of whole tomatoes instead of the jarred sauce. For that variation I used one grated carrot, half a diced onion, about 1 to 1.5 Tbsp of butter, and at the end, some capers and black olive tapenade (a sort of olive paste). Also delicious, but then I’m very easily swayed by pasta dishes.


One Response

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: