I have built up quite a stockpile of tomatoes over the past few weeks, between the CSA tomatoes and the volunteers. With the volunteers I had made tomato sauce, but my daughter mentioned in passing while we made pizza, that she really liked stewed tomatoes. Alright! I can work with that.
In the morning, I put on a large pot of water to boil. Once it was boiling, I added all my CSA tomatoes (they look like large Romas), probably about 3 lbs. worth. I let these blanch until the skins cracked, then removed them from the boiling water. When they had cooled enough, I peeled off the skins and put them in the crock pot, with about 1 t. kosher salt. I did not turn on the crock pot, and headed out to work.
When I got home after work, I used the pastry cutter to chop the cooked tomatoes right in the crock pot.
There was a lot of clear liquid, so I removed the cover and turned the crock pot up to high, while I prepped the more flavorful parts of the meat sauce.
In my big cast iron skillet over medium to high heat, I cooked:
- 2 slices bacon, cut into 1/2″ slices
- 1/3 c. chopped onion
- 1/4 c. chopped sweet pepper (yellow and left over from making pizza)
- 2 t. chopped garlic
I pushed this off to the side and added
- 1 lb. ground beef
I browned and crumbled the ground beef, then mixed it with the onion bacon mixture, adding:
I continued cooking all this until the meat was getting a little crusty. I wanted this mixture to add texture, as well as flavor, to the sauce. I added this to the stewed tomatoes in the crock pot plus, a 6oz. can of tomato paste, and returned the temperature to the low setting and covered.
A few years ago, my husband got me a pasta maker attachment to my standing mixer and I love it. Although, one time it was my daughter’s turn to make dinner and she decided she wanted to make macaroni & cheese. Not from a box. And she wanted to make the macaroni too. On a Monday evening. I suppose I could have said no, that was too much work on a school/work day, but instead I apron-ed up and we had some spectacular Mac-& Cheese that night. Hopefully, that was a “good mom” memory that keeps her from putting me in a bad nursing home someday!
Back to the present: we have never made spaghetti noodles before. I started with a basic egg pasta recipe:
- 2 c. all purpose flour
- 3 eggs
- 2 T. olive oil
- dash of kosher salt
I pulsed all this in the food processor fitted with the plastic blade until it held together. Then I turned it out on a counter covered with rice flour. I kneaded until it made a smooth, but pretty firm dough. I wrapped it in plastic wrap and let the dough rest for 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes, I broke the dough into about 1.5-2 T. chunks and ran it through the pasta maker. This process works best as a two person team, with one person to catch the pasta as it comes out of the press, and the second to spread the pasta apart on parchment paper to let it dry until cooking.
Too cook the pasta, bring a large pot of water to a boil, add a pinch of salt and all the pasta. Fresh pasta floats to the top when it is done. After adding the pasta, I brought the water back to a boil and the pasta was done after boiling for about 4 more minutes.
Drain in a colander and serve with tomato sauce and slices of shaved parmesan.
Also, in the future I think I will experiment with different flours in the noodles and maybe working some vegetables into the noodles. Swiss chard fettuccine anyone?