Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Pasta Primavera in a San Marzano Marinara Sauce

I am being quite the bad Jew this Pesach. Instead of posting a recipe geared toward the holiday, I'm posting one about pasta. What can I say? I'm a noodle whore. I do have a bangin' kugel recipe, but I'm saving it for my fantabulous book, so no spoilers :)

It's funny because after I left home, I completely abandoned the daily ritual of family dinner. The closest I get these days is Jane and I sitting at our computer desks, scarfing down our very different meals in blissful silence. There's no fighting, no awkward conversational pauses, and no picking out bad manners. Nothing like a family dinner at all. I await the day I have a little Shag-let of my own to cook dinner for, then sit down around the kitchen table and quibble over life's trivialities. Which brings me to the main topic of my post: Baby Fever.

What is Baby Fever, you ask? Well, it's a concept that's quite new to me as well. Jane introduced it to me first.

"I have such bad Baby Fever today", she said.

"Baby Fever?!", I asked.

"Yeah, you know. When you just crave having a little one in your life to care for. Baby Fever."

I'd never heard of the concept before, but all of a sudden, I started to notice these odd longings for motherhood and all the goodness it has to offer. Of course, I'm in no position to actually have a child. I'm unemployed, enjoy smoking pot way too much, and have quite a bit of living to do before I can actually even consider having a child of my own, but the Fever is giving me the chills none-the-less.

As a lesbian, at first I abandoned the thought of ever wanting children. The only way for my wife and I to actually have a child that would be both of ours would be for one of us to implant our eggs in the other, which would cost a pretty penny. Luckily, my OBGYN tells me I'm the most fertile women she's seen all year, so I suppose the task shouldn't be that difficult...but it's still a lot more complicated than what breeders need to do to create a child. Oh well, at least I never have to worry about birth control, which is a great thing because I'm allergic to latex. The funny thing is, my ONLY allergy is to latex. I should've taken it as a sign that nature was trying to tell me I was actually allergic to men, but you live, you learn.

Anyway, I've gone off on a complete tangent. The recipe.

Yes, this is a much more simple dish than I usually post, but it's one I make myself for dinner at least once a week. I'm kind of a perfectionist when it comes to pasta dishes. The noodles must be cooked perfectly al Dente. The sauce must be flavored correctly. And I want it served hot and fresh.

This is a great meal you can easily throw together for a dinner party or for your family. Enjoy it!

Pasta Primavera in a San Marzano Marinara Sauce

For The Sauce...
  • 3 TBSP Olive Oil
  • 6 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1/2 Onion, finely chopped
  • 2 large cans San Marzano Tomatoes in Juice
  • 2 15 oz cans Muir Glen Tomato Sauce
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 1/4 cup Fresh Oregano Leaves, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup Fresh Parsley Leaves, finely chopped
  • Red Pepper Flakes, to taste
  • Salt and Freshly Cracked Black Pepper, to taste

In a large sauce pot, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Once hot, add the onions and garlic, and saute until the onions are soft and translucent.

Add the San Marzanos and their juice, the two cans of Tomato Sauce, bay leaves, parsley and oregano, and stir to combine. Add a touch of the red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, then bring the sauce to a simmer. Allow the sauce to simmer, stirring occasionally, for about an hour. Taste again for salt and pepper.

Remove the pot from heat, discard the bay leaves, then use an immersion blender to puree until smooth. If you don't have an immersion blender, you can either mash up the San Marzanos with a potato masher or optionally puree in a blender or food processor.

Set aside until ready to use with the pasta.

For The Pasta....
  • 1 lb Spaghetti Noodles
  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil, plus more for the noodles
  • 4 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1/2 Onion, finely chopped
  • 8 oz White Button Mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 Portobello Mushrooms, diced
  • 1 Zucchini, cut into 1 inch long matchstick slices
  • 4 cups diced Kale, tough stems discarded
  • White Wine, for de-glazing pan (about 1/4 cup)
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • Dr Cows Tree Nut Cheese, finely grated (optional, for garnish)

Cook the pasta noodles in a large pot of salted, boiling water until just al Dente. Drain well, toss with a touch of olive oil to prevent sticking, then set aside.

In a very large saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the garlic and onions to the pan, and saute for a few moments until the onions have softened. Add both mushrooms and the zucchini, season with salt and pepper, and saute until the soft and tender, about 5-10 minutes. De-glaze the pan with the white wine, then add the kale and saute until soft and wilted, about 5 more minutes.

Toss the veggies and the pasta in a very large bowl, then toss with the marinara sauce and serve garnished with Dr. Cow's Cheese.


Jenni (aka Vegyogini) said...

Awww, a future Shag-let! That is going to be one extremely intelligent, creative, and talented kid with genes from the two of you. In the meantime, you just keep giving birth to fabulous recipes! ;) I couldn't resist...

Cortney said...

At the ripe old age of 27, I'm starting to wish I could be a housewife, but without the kids. You know, cooking, cleaning, budgeting, couponing, taking care of errands and laundry and such, doing middle of the day gym classes, picking up a new hobby, volunteering... but no kids. At least for the time being. I can hardly keep up with myself these days. Speaking of IVF sister jokingly asked me if I'd have a kid for her and her partner, and I told her she had two uteri between she and her partner, one of them needed to step up to the plate ;)

See, I said "plate" there. Which has to do with food, which has to do with the main point of the post. Ta-da!

Mona said...

Haha, Cortney, I think the middle of the day gym classes are the only part of it that seems appealing to me. (But really, why do they have to make all of the good classes during the day?)

So, um, I really want pasta now. This is kind of an amazing blog.

Mihl said...

Now we are talking! That's one pretty pasta dish!
P.S. I never have baby fever. The closest I ever got might be registered on a thermometer as 0.0001°C higher temperature.

Trinity (of haiku tofu) said...

Ah, your tangents. I've also got Baby Fever. As K and I were jogging through the neighborhood last night I saw a mommy playing t-ball with her 2 boys. Then I started talking about how I can't wait to have kids and how fun it's going to be, and Kristin endured my baby fever and even told me she thinks we're gonna make good parents one day. She rocks.

And also, your pasta primavera looks delish. I know nothing of Jew food, but happy holidays? :D

Jennifer said...

Pasta perfection! I recently tried San Marzano tomatoes in a pasta sauce and I couldn't believe how amazing they tasted!

Jenn Shagrin said...

Thank you! Do you have a blog as well?

San Marzanos are unparalleled in the sauce world. They are so perfect. I'm glad you like them too :)

Bianca said...

Ha! I love that part about smoking too much to have a baby right now. Those are my sentiments as well. I'm 29, probably almost too old to have a kid...but I drink way too much beer to have a baby. Being preggo for nine months means no beer for nine months. I'm just not sure it's worth all that. Obviously, I'd be an unfit mother anyhow.

Anonymous said...

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The Compassionate Hedonist said...

I love pasta primavera, that is what I eat 3x a week. Usually just what is left in the fridge that needs eating. I like it with fusilli.


The Compassionate Hedonist said...

BTW my baby fever got me 3 cats and 3 dogs and counting. In fact I had to buy a house for them. I was happy in my apartment, but now I need to adopt for dogs, so they need a garden. Get an OLD tired rescue dog and spoil it, you'll be cured.