Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Pasta Sauce or Soup?

My American-Italian friend, who used to be married to a vegetarian, wrote down her basic marinara recipe for me. She didn't put any measurements but I will for you. There's a can of garbanzo beans pureed into the mix which gives more protein and fiber. I tried brown rice pasta for the first time (pictured), and it is much lighter than whole wheat, you hardly know it is a whole grain pasta at all. This recipe is mild, but with a bright punch of tomato flavor, very kid friendly.

As suggested by my Italian friend, I used the left over sauce for a soup base. I baked butternutt squash in a pan of shallow water in a 375 degree oven for about 45 minutes. When the halves cooled enough to handle, I peeled and cut them into cubes. There was too much for this soup, but now I have extra in the fridge. I also threw in about 3 raw cubed zucchini into the pot and simmered until tender. I tried some of the soup with couscous, and some with quinoa. The couscous absorbs the sauce, so it is less soup like of the two. The quinoa is nice, with a little bit of texture and tiny crunch.

Tomato Sauce
3 tablespoons olive oil
1-2 chopped carrots
3-5 chopped shallots
1-2 chopped onions
3-6 cloves of garlic
2 large cans of good tomatoes ( Muir Glen or San Manzano)
1 can organic garbanzo beans
salt and pepper to taste
2-4 ounces fresh basil

Heat stock pot over med-high heat, add oil and chopped vegetables. Cook until onions and shallots are translucent. Add canned ingredients. Bring to a simmer for a few minutes and then puree with a hand blender or food processor. Add the basil just before serving. Make your choice of pasta according to the package instructions. 

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