Late Summer Pasta Sauce

Well its mid-September here on long island. I have a bumper crop of tomatoes. So, we need to get busy cooking the beefsteaks. First up is a sweet late summer pasta sauce. This will consume four of the large ones, and it will freeze nicely. This way I can have the fresh tastes of the late summer well into the early winter.

 

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Four large tomatoes
  • 3 sausage links
  • Duck Walk red wine
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 2 Italian peppers
  • 1 cup diced white mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • Water (about four cups)
  • Oregano
  • Bay leaf
  • Salt

In a heavy cast pot drizzle a little olive oil. Every good sauce starts with a little olive oil. Then add the minced garlic. Remove the casings from the sausage and crumble the ground pork into the pot. Mince the onion and add that to the pot. Stir this up while the pork browns. A bit of fond should be forming on the bottom of the pot. Deglaze with a splash or tow of red wine, then pour in about four cups of water.

 

Core and de-seed the tomatoes. Dice the exteriors and toss into the pot. Then toss the cores into the blender. Blend to puree. Add this to the pot. Add the tomato paste. Add the oregano, two bay leaves and salt. Let this simmer a while to blend together (about an hour).

 

Dice the zucchini and peppers. Add these to the pot. Check the fluid level. If the sauce is too thick you can always add a bit more water. If it’s not thick enough you can cover it with a splatter screen and cook out the water. Let this cook about fifteen minutes to a half hour and then add in the mushrooms.

 

Let this simmer while you make the pasta. You don’t want to give those mushrooms too much time to cook. You want to keep them a bit firm. If you plan on freezing this batch of sauce, I would recommend not putting the mushrooms. Instead, add them later when you thaw the sauce out. Few things are as mushy and bland as a thawed out mushroom.

tomatoes

Spanish Style Yellow Rice

Well its September here on long island. Several tomatoes are ripened outside. So, let’s go pick a pair of beefsteaks and put them to good use. Saving money and having fresh ingredients to work with is one of the reasons for planting your own garden. Here on Long Island we have a long growing season and for some reason, tomatoes grow wonderfully out here.

 

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 6oz box of Goya Yellow Rice
  • 2 large tomatoes
  • 2 chorizo sausages
  • 1 large Spanish onion
  • 2 green peppers
  • 2 jalapeno peppers
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper

Make the rice according to the package. While you’re doing that…

Slice the chorizos and slowly cook them in a nonstick frying pan. Add the minced garlic. Dice the onion and add that to the fry pan. Dice the peppers and add them to the pan. Let all this simmer together over low heat.

Core and de-seed the tomatoes. Dice the exteriors and toss into the pan (you can save the cores in the fridge for making tomato soup later). Add the red pepper flakes salt and pepper. Heat this through then mix in the rice.

Serve this with chips and guacamole!

tomatoes2

Rosé Summer Mussels

Every Mediterranean country has its version of shellfish in a tomato-based broth, and the wine of choice for each is an earthy, full-bodied pink wine. Here, seek out a nice sweet rosé, I sever these with a bottle of Martha Clara Vineyards sweet rosé.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 4 pounds mussels, scrubbed and debearded
  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes drained
  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 5 oz can v-8 juice
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried red-pepper flakes
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

In a large pot, heat the oil over moderately low heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the parsley, tomatoes, v-8 Juice, thyme, and red-pepper flakes. Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Now, when it comes to the canned tomatoes and the v-8 juice, I use the low sodium option here. Too much sodium is not good for you and around here I’m all about cooking things that are good for you… most of the time. So lets get back to the mussels.

Discard any mussels that have broken shells or that don’t clamp shut when tapped. Add the mussels to the pot. Cover; bring to a boil. Cook, shaking the pot occasionally, just until the mussels open, about 3 minutes. Remove the open mussels. Continue to boil, uncovering the pot as necessary to remove the mussels as soon as their shells open. Discard any that do not open.

Stir the black pepper into the broth. Taste the broth and, if needed, add salt. Ladle the broth over the mussels and serve with the garlic toast.

mussles with tomato broth

mussels with tomato broth