Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Waste Not, Want Not

Last night, I stood looking aimlessly into my refrigerator, determined to rouse something from its contents that I could pass off as a family dinner. I had put off going to the grocery store earlier, and now with hunger pangs setting in, I knew the window of opportunity was shut. I assessed the miserly contents of my vegetable drawer, and decided the hopelessly limpcarrots and zucchinis were just on this side of salvageable. I also had several beautiful summer tomatoes that were going to go rotten before my very eyes, lets I somehow come to their rescue. So I did, in a very delicious way. I realized that I had all of the contents for a simple vegetable marinara, and after a quick pantry check to ensure we had a box of pasta, I set to work dicing tomatoes and julienning carrots and zucchini. I also took the remaining garlic I had along with a lonely little shallot I found, and chopped them up for good measure. With some olive oil, a splash of chicken stock (which was also leftover and trash bound), and some salt and pepper, I managed to create a pasta sauce that even an Italian grandmother would be proud of!

Salvaged Sauce
-some garlic, minced (or garlic powder to taste of you don't have any)
-shallot(s) or onion, chopped
-any vegetables past their prime (zucchini, squash, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, eggplant), cut to roughly the same size and shape to ensure even cooking
-whatever tomatoes you have on hand, diced (could also be canned diced or pureed tomatoes)
-1/4 cup or so extra virgin olive oil
-1/4 cup or so chicken broth

In a large pot over medium high heat, add the oil, followed by the garlic and shallot/onion. Stir until soft and fragrant, about 4 or 5 minutes (if it is begins to brown or burn, turn the heat down slightly, or, if the pan is running dry, add more oil or broth). Add the veggies, season with salt and pepper, then add the broth, and cook stirring frequently until soft. Add the tomatoes, reduce the heat to medium low, and simmer for about 30 minutes.

You could also use up leftover fresh herbs too- just add with the veggies!

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