September 25, 2008

Fall Comfort Food

Here I sit, at my small home desk with my cup of Sleepytime tea and a small dish of incinerated nuts (my last attempt at roasting in an unpredictable oven), the first fall rain is pattering against the window and I am finally trying to decompress after a very long four days.

It auction season, all the big houses have sales in the next few weeks, Doyle's, Sotheby's, Christie's, so things are hectic at work to say the least. Our neighbors were evicted and the landlord decided to fully exterminate both the vacant apartment and ours, we're the only two on the floor, on Wednesday. Tuesday the Trainer and I, and his family, had to remove all our clothes and books from the apartment, only to put it all away again Wednesday evening. The past few evenings they have been doing work next door as well, last night until after 11pm.

I'm very glad that I had the foresight to prepare some comfort food last weekend. I roasted a large spaghetti squash and prepared a batch of my Nonna's pasta sauce to go with it. I hadn't planned on eating it every day, but it's warm and comforting, and it's all ready for me to grab from the freezer. I learned how to make this pasta sauce from my Nonna and my uncle and I certainly don't follow a recipe, but I do follow a few guidelines.

Spaghetti Squash
Clean the outside of a spaghetti squash and cut it in half. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place both halves of the squash cut side down on a baking sheet. Bake for 30-45 minutes depending on the size of the squash. When it's cool enough to handle scrape the meat with a fork to create the spaghetti-like strands and scoop out the flesh with a spoon.

Nonna's Pasta Sauce
1lb- ground beef
1- onion
5cloves- garlic
6- Roma tomatoes
4- vine ripe tomatoes
1/2bunch- parsley
2tsp- Italian seasoning (basil, oregano, majoram, thyme, savory, sage & rosemary)
Olive oil
Sea salt

To prep- chop the onions and garlic, wash the Roma tomatoes and remove the stem part and peel the vine ripe tomatoes*

Sautee onions and garlic in olive oil with 1tsp seasoning until translucent.

Remove 2/3 of the onion mixture and place in blender.

Add ground beef to remaining onions and sautee, breaking up into clumps of desired size.

In blender, puree onions and Roma tomatoes.

Transfer meat and tomato puree to a sauce pan, add peeled, chopped vine ripe tomatoes, remaining seasoning and chopped parsley. Simmer for at least 1 hour until flavors are well blended.

*to easily peel the tomatoes score an X over the stem and place tomatoes top down in a heat proof bowl. Cover with boiling water. After a few minutes, rinse in cold water and remove peels

No comments: