Fresh Tomato Bolognese


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With 50 or so fresh picked tomatoes from the garden quickly ripening in my sunroom, I decided it was time to make some sauces.

IMG 2950   Fresh Tomato Bolognese

Tomatoes galore

This is the bolognese (meat sauce) recipe I concocted using garden and farmer’s-market supplies, along with some ground beef from an Amish market.
Once again I (healthily) thickened a recipe by adding shredded zucchini.  I love vegetables, so this sauce wouldn’t have been as exciting to me otherwise. 🙂

Ingredients:

  • TOMATOES!  (lots, I don’t know, maybe 8? 10? depends on how much you want to make)
    Diced–with pulp removed (puree a few if you can)
  • 1 shredded zucchini
  • 4 cloves of minced garlic
  • minced leek (to taste)
  • Minced spicy / mixed peppers
  • Fresh oregano and basil
  • Salt, pepper
  • ~1 lb ground beef
  • 2 tbsp corn starch
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • splash of red wine (optional) or balsamic

Directions:

Heat olive oil in a pan and add the ground beef.  Cook until just browned.    Add a couple tablespoons of corn starch to the pan to create a thicker sauce from the beef fat.  If the beef was really fatty, you might want to drain some off first.  If you used lean beef, you might not need to do that.

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Grating zucchini

Remove the pulp from the tomatoes as you dice them.  I used a food processor after removing the pulp, and just pulsed it a few times to leave different-sized chunks of tomato for the sauce.  On one batch in the food processor (it took several), I pureed them completely, so the sauce would have some body as well.

Add garlic, leek, and peppers and saute for a minute.  Add diced tomatoes and wine or balsamic.  Allow the sauce to cook for 10+ minutes or longer, if you prefer to slow cook your sauce.  I’m impatient.

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Tomatoes, beef, and zucchini

Add fresh herbs, salt and pepper, and allow to cook for another 5 minutes or so.

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Bolognese sauce cooking

Make your pasta (I prefer to use a peeler to create long “linguine pasta ” ribbons out of squash or zucchini, and then saute or blanch those for a couple of minutes.  This is an excellent gluten-free and guilt-free healthy pasta alternative).

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Squash "pasta" noodles

Serve sauce over pasta, and top with cheese if you wish.  Enjoy!

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Fresh Tomato Bolognese over squash noodle pasta with pesto-stuffed roasted tomato

 

August 16, 2011
Food, Recipe

 
 

Fresh Garden Salsa: Tomatillo, Tomatoes, and Peppers


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In my garden, the tomatoes just started coming in like crazy! 
I don’t eat tomatoes on everything, so I needed to come up with a way to use the ripe ones so they wouldn’t go to waste.

IMG 2733 300x225   Fresh Garden Salsa: Tomatillo, Tomatoes, and Peppers

cherry tomatoes

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More garden tomatoes

It just so happened that this weekend at the Catonsville Farmer’s Market, my favorite vendor, the White Rose Farm folks, had a huge bag of mixed peppers (purple bell, cowhorn, jalapeno, mild/spicy varieties, etc) at a ridiculously good price.  I’m growing jalapenos, chilli peppers, and bell peppers, but I don’t have that many of any of those yet.
They also had tomatillos for sale, which I got to taste for the first time thanks to the friendly man at the farm stand.  They are really good raw! Crunchy and buttery!

This was also the first time I’ve purchased garlic from the farmer’s market.  At $1 a bunch, it’s not the most economical, but wow was it good! Crisp, so fresh, flavorful, and much more potent.  I only used 2 cloves where I might normally use 4 or more!

With all this in tow, and a bunch of cilantro, I set to work.

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Blended peppers, cilantro and garlic , frozen for future use

Many of the peppers wouldn’t have lasted a full week in the fridge before going off, so I decided to food process all of them at once.   It’s a pain in the moment, but I am so excited for all the leftover pepper/garlic/cilantro mixture I have frozen and waiting for my next culinary usage of them.  At the very least, I can keep this frozen until I get my next batch of ripe tomatoes for more salsa :).

Here’s the general recipe for a delicious, fresh, garden salsa made from tomatillo, peppers, and tomatoes:

Ingredients:

  • 1 part tomatillos
  • 1 part diced tomatoes
  • 1 part mixed peppers (bell, cowhorn, jalapeno, mild/spicy varieties, etc..)
  • garlic (2 cloves of farmer’s market garlic goes a long way!)

    IMG 2854 300x225   Fresh Garden Salsa: Tomatillo, Tomatoes, and Peppers

    Mixed peppers, Tomatillos, Tomatoes, and Garlic

  • leek (1/4 cup chopped or to taste, or onion if you prefer, but leek is milder, and I didn’t use much)
  • cilantro (handful–to taste!)
IMG 2860 300x225   Fresh Garden Salsa: Tomatillo, Tomatoes, and Peppers

Cilantro

Directions:

Add garlic, leek, cilantro, peppers and tomatillos to the food processor and blend into very small pieces (but not entirely pureed).

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peppers in the food processor

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Food processing ingredients

Dice tomatoes and combine in a bowl with salt and pepper to taste.  Adjust amount of jalapenos and hot peppers for spiciness.

YUM!

IMG 2865 300x225   Fresh Garden Salsa: Tomatillo, Tomatoes, and Peppers

Fresh Garden Salsa with Tomatillos, Tomatoes, and mixed Peppers


After devouring our first batch with chips, we added more on top of some homemade shrimp burritos! YUM!!
This salsa had just the right amount of spiciness (adjust pepper ratio to taste)!

IMG 2871 300x225   Fresh Garden Salsa: Tomatillo, Tomatoes, and Peppers

Garden Salsa on a shrimp burrito

August 6, 2011
Food, Recipe