Homemade fire roasted tomato sauce and caramelized red onions with homemade pasta and lots of herbs were nothing short of spectacular!
This bread was amazing! Roasting the garlic first filled the house with a smell that was enough to set the stage for some great eating later on.
The Healthy Bread Book was an inspiration for my pasta--so I created my meal around my desire for a loaf of bread!
This is how the dough will look after you mix it by hand. You will not knead the dough with this bread baking method.
After a two hour rise, I removed enough dough to make a 1 lb. loaf and placed it on my cookie sheet (spreading corn meal first to keep the bread from skicking). I really want a bread peel! The aroma of this bread baking was incredible, just incredible!
My second inspiration for cooking with my hands last night came from Jamie Oliver's new cookbook: Jamie's Food Revolution. Jamie never disappoints. Let me stop here and say while Jamie is not a vegan by any stretch of the imagination, his recipes serve as a wonderful inspiration--a good vegan home chef can make the necessary changes to create a lovely vegan dish out of nearly all of his recipes. This latest recipe collection is simply one of his best in my opinion. I usually end up reading his cookbooks from cover to cover. (Some reading has taken place in the bookstore with a cup of coffee in hand). I relish the easy steps he offers in creating comforting, fresh dishes from scratch as well as the brilliant photography. His mission is to get us all back to the kitchen to cook, be it first time home cooks or experienced cooks--either way, the message is a worthy one. I especially love his curry section in this book. You not only get the highlights of creating homemade curry of many kinds, but there is an entire section dedicated to creating homemade curry pastes to accompany the curry dishes he offers. I was in heaven! Jamie's website also offers a cook's dream of recipes and other cooking tidbits, as well as updates from him about his ongoing pursuits, not least of which is his upcoming American television show: http://www.jamieoliver.com/.
I adapted one of the recipes and created an easy, wonderful, wholesome, tasty homemade pasta dish last night--call the adjetive police. Honestly, you don't need much for this, but let me tell you, the flavors were amazing! I made my own pasta sheets so this may have contributed to the Yum! factor. Nothing is better than fresh, homemade pasta--other than fresh, homemade bread. If you are not into making pasta from scratch--you really should though--you can sub using no bake lasagna sheets in this by boiling them, then laying them out for cutting into the desired width. There is no exact science to this other than the sauce!
Easy Fire Roasted Tomato Pasta
1/4 cup olive oil
1 14 oz. can fire roasted tomatoes
1 large can whole tomatoes
3 tablespoons Earth Balance Butter
1 red onion
6 cloves garlic diced
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
Spike Seasoning or salt and pepper to taste
*fresh basil--you could certainly add this!
In a large saute pan, add olive oil and red onion. Cook the red onion over medium heat until it begins to caramelize a bit--not all the way. This will take about 10 minutes or so. Next, add the garlic, tomatoes (make sure you take your kitchen scissors to cut them into pieces while they are in the can before adding them). Add all of the seasonings you'd like--to me there is no such thing as "too" much when it somes to a really good red sauce--well there is--just taste test it along the way. Now, allow this to simmer for about 10 minutes or so. Add the balsamic vinegar and maple syrup--again, taste the sauce. I don't like bitter tasting tomato sauce--this is my fix for the problem. My mom used to add white sugar to solve the matter, you could also use Agave syrup. Turn the heat to a medium simmer and allow the sauce to cook for another 40 minutes or so--it will reduce in volume a bit--and this is exactly what you want it to do--the flavors will meld together and be fabulous! Next, prepare a pot of water for boiling either your fresh pasta or lasagna noodles. Note, I used fresh pasta and boiled my noodles for three minutes, then carefully removed the noodles from the saute pan and added them directly to the sauce. If you are not using fresh, boil the no-boil lasagna noodles for about 10 minutes and test for doneness, then cut into desired size and add to the sauce. Serve with good bread and have some good eating!