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Generally Recognized As True: Another leftovers recipe using remnants of canned tomatoes, green pepper, onion, and garlic

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Another leftovers recipe using remnants of canned tomatoes, green pepper, onion, and garlic

Another experiment that turned out well.

The leftovers:
  • 1/4 of a green pepper (sweet)
  • 1/2 can of tomatoes

The rest (there are all things that any self-respecting kitchen has in stock at all times)

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 handful dry farfale
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1.5 cups water
  • pinch of dried Italian herbs
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • parmesan cheese for dressing

Most of the leftovers recipes I've come up with lately have been the all-in-one-pan type. Cleanup is a lot easier! So, this time I tried cooking the dry pasta directly in the ingredients rather than preparing it separately in water, and it worked pretty well.

I used a sautee pan. I think it's essential for this because the large surface area lets you reduce the liquid very quickly, so that you can cook the pasta properly but without having too much water left in the sauce once the pasta is cooked. You could probably try with a smaller pan and less water, but then the surface area is also useful for the sauteeing part.

First, dice the onion, mince the garlic, and roughly chop the green pepper.

Heat a sautee pan over medium-high heat. Add 2 tbsp. olive oil right away and when it starts to smoke, add the onion, garlic, and green pepper. Sautee for about 3 minutes, shuffling with a spatula periodically.

Add a pinch of dried Italian herbs. This is usually cheap and in the dried herbs section labelled as "Italian seasoning" or something like that. I wanted to use basil, but there's none in the garden yet and I didn't have any. Don't over-do this "pinch". If in doubt, under-do it. Mix in and sautee for another 1 minute.

Add the Balsamic vinegar and stir it in right away. It will probably sizzle quite violently. Sautee for another minute or so.

Add the canned tomatoes and stir. Bring to a fast simmer.

Add the water and return to a fast simmer.

Now, add the farfale and stir it in so that it's submerged in the liquid.

Reduce the heat to medium-low and it should come down to a simmer. Let it simmer for about 12 minutes, stirring periodically. If it becomes too dry, add more water a small amount at a time and half-put the lid on the pan if it seems necessary (this will slow the evaporation of liquid).

It should have thickened up at this point. Season to taste with ground black pepper. Let stand in the pan for about 2-3 minutes, and then serve with grated parmesan on top.

Note that I didn't add any salt at all because canned tomatoes are usually high in salt, and parmesan has salt in it, too. If yours aren't, you will probably want to add salt.

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