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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Project Lunch: Thursday: Pasta with Tomato Sauce and a Poem

Good evening!  It's been a crazy day at work and home (did I mention it's midterm week?) but I've got a great lunch all packed up for tomorrow.  I think it's important to think about preparing food, for lunch in particular and meals in general, as a non-negotiable.  I know when times get busy we all have something we drop to make everything else fit, but food simply cannot be it.  I think of something Chef Friese has said, "Saying you have no time to cook is like saying you have no time to bathe."  This mindset has really been with me this week.


I had planned to make macaroni and cheese but discovered we were entirely out of milk, so I improvised this quick tomato sauce, which nicely cleared out the fridge and turned out to be fantastic.

I was inspired to make this by the circumstances and by today's poem.  We've started a little poetry project around here reading The Writer's Almanac, and today's poem is Puttanesca by Michael Heffernan.  So, I decided to throw together a quick bright tomato sauce with leftover carrots, green beans, shallots, and a red pepper.

Quick Tomato Sauce


Begin with whatever veggies you have, chopped proportionally.  That means dense things, like carrots and beans, should be cut smaller while food with more water and less body, like peppers, should be cut much larger.  This is in the hopes that things finish up to their ideal doneness at approximately the same time.


Season well with salt and pepper, and brown all this in a little olive oil in a pan until bits stick to the bottom and the veggies are done the way you like them.  If you like less crunch, you can cover the pan so they steam.  

Then, deglaze the pan with some balsamic vinaigrette and add a can of tomatoes.  Add salt, pepper, any seasonings you like, and more vinegar to taste.  Then let it cook down on low until the flavors come together, about 15-20 minutes.

Serve over whole wheat pasta, and put some cheese on top if you're into that.  Otherwise this meal is vegan, but very filling and delicious.




Happy Thursday, and see you tomorrow!


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