Tag Archives: oregano

Sam’s Summer Pasta Sauce

One of the first meals that Sam had made for me was this sauce, and I loved it!  He’s been perfecting this baby for years, so it is delicious.  I couldn’t wait until the tomatoes were in season, since this pasta is significantly better with deep red fresh tomatoes.

It’s finally tomato season!  Hopefully, my pasta sauce recipe will help you figure out how to use them.

It looks like a lot, but really, this one is pretty easy.  I developed this recipe over a couple years of trial and error.  Originally, I prepared the sauce as noted below, but then simmered it for about an hour over the stovetop.  I’ve found that omitting this last step and serving it with the tomatoes and herbs in their raw state gives the sauce a really nice, fresh-from-the-garden flavor.  I hope you like it.

Sam’s Summer Pasta Sauce

1 box, dry pasta (I recommend penne or rigatoni)
3 large, ripe tomatoes, quartered
2 zucchini, slice length-wise & chopped into chunks
2 squash, slice length-wise & chopped into chunks
1 yellow onion, chopped
8 oz. cremini mushrooms, sliced thickly
5 garlic cloves, minced
handful of fresh basil
6 sprigs of fresh oregano
¾ can, drained, pitted, black olives
Dry red wine (a nice Chianti works well)
1 tbsp butter
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
1 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)

In a large saucepan, melt the butter together with the olive oil over medium-high heat.  Then add the squash, zucchini, and onion together with the salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper.

Now is a good time to start boiling your pasta.  I recommend cooking in liberally salted boiling water until al dente.  When done, drain and rinse in cold water to ensure it doesn’t continue to cook.

When the onions are translucent, add the mushrooms and garlic.  Continue to sauté until the mushrooms soften but still have a bit of a bite.  Remove from heat.

In a large food processor, add quarter of the sauté mixture together with the tomatoes, oregano, basil, olives, and a splash of wine and olive oil.  Pureé and add more salt, pepper, and olive oil as necessary.

Serve the sauce with the remainder of the squash mixture over the cooked pasta and top with a little fresh, grated parmesan (not that powdered stuff!).  Oh, and don’t forget to drink the remainder of that wine!

Buon appetito!

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Lentil Sloppy Joe’s

We don’t make too much meat at home, mostly when we go out to eat.  Although we only make meat at home once a week, it doesn’t mean that certain foods are off limits.  Therefore, when I was flipping through a vegan book which we own, I thought the lentil sloppy joe’s were a great idea!  Plus it was really easy to make- which is definitely an addition to weeknight meals.

Lentil Sloppy Joe’s
Adapted from: Veganomicon

1 cup uncooked lentils
4 cups of water
1 tbsp olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
5 garlic cloves, minced
3 tbsp Mexican-style chili powder
2 tbsp Ground Cayenne Red Pepper
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tsp salt
6 oz Chili Sauce
6 burger buns

Heat water in a small saucepan, once it comes to a boil, add the lentils.  Lower the heat and simmer the lentils for about 20-30 minutes, until they are soft.  Drain, and set aside (you can make them the day before).

Preheat a saucepan over medium heat.  Saute the onion, green pepper and garlic  in the oil until onions are softened.  Stir in: cooked lentils, chili powder, cayenne, oregano and salt.  Then add the Chili Sauce, and heat through.  Turn off the heat, and let the ingredients sit for about 10 minutes.  Place on top of the buns and enjoy!