Friday, February 04, 2011

I'll Just Sauce Something Together...

Perhaps, after reading this blog for a couple of years, you might think that I live to create new recipes. And sometimes I do. But sometimes I am just the laziest cook you can imagine.

I get ideas, I get inspired, but it's not often these days that inspiration sees any follow-through. And that's a shame, because winter seems to be the best time for me to cook for myself, what with not spending days out in the fields and gardens.

Case in point: The ice storm that swooped down on us this week had me craving tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches. Trouble is, I was out of cheese slices and felt too lazy to make tomato soup from scratch. (I've done it, and it's not hard; it just takes time.)

So instead, I hemmed and hawed, and along came Friday night and a craving for pasta. (I'm fickle. Get over it.)

Now, even though making tomato soup out of a jar of home-canned tomato sauce isn't hard, somehow the idea of tossing together a quick pasta sauce seemed preferable. I don't know why: it probably took as much time. But there you go. Lazy. Didn't even want to think that through.

I started by mincing and sauteing some garlic (a clove or two) in olive oil. Then I added seasonings: maybe a teaspoon of dried oregano, about the same of dried basil, a sprinkling of red pepper flakes, a bit of salt. The usual. No measurements, really, just throwing things in to taste.

Then I got a little more adventuresome. About half a teaspoon of ground cinnamon. (Yes. Cinnamon. You have no idea how good cinnamon tastes in tomato sauce.) And about a quarter teaspoon of espresso powder, one of the "secret ingredients" in my pantry.

I added all that to the garlic and fried the spices just a little bit, bringing out the aromas, before adding a pint of home-canned tomato sauce. I let it simmer for about an hour, then whisked in 1-2 T of flour to thicken the sauce. (Adding cheese would have done the same, but I didn't have any Parmesan at hand.)

I cooked the last of the cheese tortellini that had been hiding in the freezer and dumped the fresh sauce over top. As you can see, it coated the pasta beautifully, not dripping off like most of my sauces do.

And the taste? Holy mackerel. Holy cow. Holy something, because this was seriously good sauce. Rich, savory, just a bit of sweetness and just a bit of heat. Oh. My. Gracious.

I'll be making that again sometime. Soon.

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