12 February 2011

It Takes Longer To Wash The Dishes than to Make Red Velvet Pasta Sauce

I love blogging for many reasons, but one reason is for the many "light bulb" moments. I will be in the middle of my on-line search, watching television or reading when I come across a recipe or an idea that I just have to stop everything for and head to the kitchen. I had one such "aha" moment when I received a newsletter from the ladies at Food 52. Roxanne dubbed this pasta sauce "Cold Sauce "which truthfully sounds pretty unappealing. Who wants to eat cold sauce, now I ask you!!!!

 What I did love about this sauce is that I have everything I need to prepare it right in my pantry. No need to head to the store on a cold, blistery day and no need to spend hours in the kitchen!  I have redubbed this winter sauce "Red Velvet Pasta Sauce" in honour of Valentine's Day. This dish takes less time to make than it will to do the dishes!!!!What better way to spend more quality time with the ones you love.

This sauce takes less than 5 minutes of your time to prepare and 10 minutes of stove time. But like every well laid plan there is a catch because this baby should be made at least one day in advance so that the flavours have the opportunity to marry together.  If you take less than 5 minutes to prepare the sauce before you head to work you will have dinner on the table in the time it takes to cook the pasta!!!!  You could also make the sauce the night before whatever your schedule allows.

 It is suggested that you take the sauce out of the fridge about 30 minutes before you plan on eating, which will ensure that it does not chill your pasta (theres' that cold sauce again!!!), but rather embraces it in a warm red coat that will remind you of the tastes of summer. As we all know tomatoes are canned at their peak of perfection after all. Finally a reason to splurge on those canned San Marzano's from Italy!!!!Astonishingly deep red (and thus packed to the brim with health-giving, anti-oxidant lycopene), San Marzano tomatoes have a characteristic long shape with a pointed teat at the bottom. They have thinner skins than most varieties, contain less water and therefore more pulp – making them ideal for sauce-making, with a maximum concentration of flavour. They’re very widely used in Neapolitan cooking, sliced fresh into salads or cooked up in pasta and pizza sauces. With tomatoes as stunningly full-flavoured as these available, it’s no surprise that tomatoes have long formed a cornerstone of Naples’ cuisine.

 And once again hurray for greenhouses for an endless supply of fresh basil year round!!!

I am submitting this dish to Presto Pasta Nights the baby of Ruth at Once Upon a Feast and this week being hosted by Pia of Cook Healthy . You will always find a myriad of delicious dishes from lasagna to Pho on Ruth's site. Last week she celebrated her 200th week. Congratulations Ruth!!!!

Sun ripened tomatoes, fresh basil...I do believe I don't need that trip to San Jose Los Cabos after all to flood back the memories of sun-kissed days. Start with a delicious antipasti, throw in a side salad and a slice of ciabatta bread and perhaps a special dessert and you will quickly impress the ones you love any day of the week even after a long day at work.

Also don't forget to send in your dish for the Best Thing I Ever Ate (recently) challenge here at More Than Burnt Toast. Send your submission to bestdisheverate@gmail.com by midnight February 15th. Read all about it here. So far we have some exceptional dishes from around the world

** Red Velvet Pasta Sauce**
adapted from Roxanne DeRosa

1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 cup packed fresh basil
2 or more cloves garlic, crushed
1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 pound spaghetti
red pepper flakes (optional)

Using a food processor blitz the canned tomatoes, basil, garlic, salt and pepper and red pepper flakes (if using). Let there still be some chunks. If necessary chop the basil before hand and add it in later. You decide. Mix these ingredients together and refrigerate overnight.

When you're ready to use remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes prior to eating and add oil, stir well. In the meantime, cook the pasta al dente, drain and add the sauce. The hot pasta will warm the cold sauce. No cheese please...it's not needed.

Serves 4

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  1. Less time than washing dishes? Count me in Val.

    Your recipe reminded me that I make something like this in the summer with fresh tomatoes and lots of garlic and, believe it or not, it is served sort of cold over the hot pasta and it's terrific. I'll have to find the recipe and post it in the summer. Thanks for the idea.

    Hope you have a wonderful Valentine's Day.

  2. I make the same thing in the summer too Sam. It is one of L'il Burnt Toast's favourites.Sometimes I add fresh ricotta or feta.

  3. It's great how blogging insires and re-inspires and back again! I thought I was a pretty good cook before I started blogging, but I'm opening up worlds and doors and all kinds of new recipes thanks to the people I've met here . . . like you! (I wish I could find San Marzano tomatoes her; on my wish list!)

  4. I'm going to bookmark and save for the summer, when I have abundant basil in the garden. What could be easier than this?

  5. This dish look yummy Vall! My son love spaguettis!!
    psst Vall! I hated love dishes! and I have to do of course! xx gloria
    Have a lovely Valentines day!

  6. Val, I love this! I can't believe how fast it is and not having to heat up the sauce before eating it is a definite bonus. I don't think you could make dinner any faster than this! You're right, it will take me longer to do the dishes, lol.

  7. So the 'simmering' is done in the frig overnight? Sounds like a great idea and I look forward to trying it! I'm longing for a blast of summer flavors.

  8. I love the name Red Velvet Sauce! Sounds perfectly delicious too. This would be great on pizza as well as pasta.

  9. Love the name for the sauce! I do this similiar sauce for my pizza! It then will actually "cook" on the pizza in the oven!

  10. The simplest sauces are the best. This will surely be one of my go-to summer recipes. Bookmarked. : )

  11. Love the name and I love how quick it is to make! I'll have red pepper flakes in mine please!

  12. Love this! The name alone endears me to it, but the fresh flavors of tomato and basil seal the deal.

  13. Red Velvet Sauce is a perfectly Heavenly name for this sauce. And... I just got back from Costco with canned San Marzano tomatoes - 6 28oz tins for $7!!! What a deal.

    Thanks so much for sharing with Presto Pasta Night.

  14. When I saw the Red Velvet Sauce I wasn't sure what to expect but this sounds delicious - fresh, fast and fabulous! Thanks for sharing - can't wait to make it & Happy Valentine's Day!

  15. Interesting technique Val...I always associate tomato sauces for pasta as being hot. This would be great for people who lead busy lives. Thanks for sharing!

  16. Alas, we are hard pressed to find fresh basil in the frigid midwest. Come summer, this will certainly "cook" in my refrigerator.


  17. I love it when I see a recipe and realize I can make it right then and there. How I long for my fresh tomatoes and basil again. You're right, though-- canned tomatoes and greenhouse basil does bring summer into winter/spring.

  18. Such a refreshing spin on classic ingredients. I'm sure to try this. Thanks Val.

  19. A super simple classic sauce for pasta - but never thought of serving it cold. I bet that would be so good in summer. No fresh basil for us at the moment so it looks as though we'll have to wait for the warmer weather to arrive.

  20. This does sounds delicious, Val, and it's something that can be made from items I always have in the pantry. I bet it will be delicious with vine ripened tomatoes this summer.

  21. You're right about a cold sauce "sounding" unappealing. It made me stop and think that one of my favorite sauces is just olive oil, tomatoes, and garlic, and technically that would be a cold sauce too.

  22. Lovely Val. A great solution for a midweek meal.

    By the way, I would be more than happy to send you some fenugreek powder. Just email me with your address and I will get to that soon. I should also send you some dried fenugreek leaves. Certainly a staple in my kitchen.

  23. Lovely quick little sauce, I've made versions of this sauce for ages & love it :)

  24. what an alluring name! it's altogether fantastic, val. :)


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