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Saturday, September 29, 2012

Pasta Sauces

Balsamic parmesan pasta (3552916238)
Balsamic parmesan pasta (3552916238) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
By Juvy S. Iliwiliw

Here's a gift idea: why not package together a jar of pasta sauce, some dried pasta and maybe even a package of focaccia and give to a friend who has no time to cook. No time or has time to cook friends will never neglect to appreciate your generosity if you will wrap them with your own homemade flavors. Hope these recipes will make a good stuff inside those shiny wrappers.



For a more traditional pesto, just omit the sundried tomatoes. Or add sliced black olives for both taste and presentation. Make your pesto sauce quickly with a food processor or blender.

You will need:


½ cup sundried tomatoes, plus ½ cup hot water if they are not packed in oil
2 cups basil leaves, tightly packed
½ cup pine nuts (available in delis)
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cup olive oil
½ teaspoon black pepper

Here's how:

If the sundried tomatoes are not packed in oil, soften them first in hot water for 30 minutes, then drain. Chop the sundried tomatoes coarsely. Put the basil leaves, pine nuts, parmesan cheese, olive oil and black pepper into a food processor or blender; process until smooth. Mix in the sundried tomatoes. Pack into containers and store in the refrigerator or freezer.

PUTTANESCA
This is not a classic recipe because of the addition of artichoke hearts, but we like it this way! If you can get bold of a hot and spicy pepper-flavored olive oil, add a couple of tablespoons. Use fresh red and juicy tomatoes. If unavailable, use canned tomatoes instead.

You will need:

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 head garlic, peeled and crushed
1 kilo ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped or
   16-ounce can whole tomatoes
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (omit if you do not want it too spicy)
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 small can anchovies, undrained
½ cup sliced black olives
½ cup capers, drained
1 cup sliced mushrooms (if using fresh, add together with tomatoes)
1 can or bottle artichoke hearts, drained and quartered

Here's how:

Heat the olive oil in a heavy saucepan and lightly brown the garlic. Add the fresh or canned tomatoes, red pepper flakes and black pepper. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the anchovies, black olives, capers, mushrooms and artichoke hearts. Pack into containers and store in the refrigerator.

BASIC POMODORO
I call this "basic" because you can add all sorts of things to it such as seafood, mushrooms, sliced roasted eggplant, and others before combining with pasta. But the flavor is anything but basic and, because of the addition of fresh basil and parmesan, is satisfying enough by itself.

You will need:

2 tablespoons olive oil
½ head garlic, peeled and crushed
1 kilo ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped or
   16-ounce can whole tomatoes
½ teaspoon each dried oregano, salt and pepper
2 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
½ cup grated parmesan cheese

Here's how:

Heat the olive oil in a heavy saucepan and lightly brown the garlic. Add the fresh or canned tomatoes, oregano, salt and black pepper. Simmer for 20 minutes. Stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and add the fresh basil and parmesan cheese. Cool, pack into containers and refrigerate.











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