Greetings to you. I am a great fan of experimenting when cooking and in particular, creating sauces, especially for pasta (I have a benevolent husband who puts up with this!). A great number of us these days are on tight budgets and we have to hunt for things to stock our pantry that don’t cost too much. In this respect I would like to go back to a subject that I have talked about before - growing vegetables and fruits in pots and if you have the space, putting together a small greenhouse is always invaluable for growing things out-of-season. I knew of a lady in England who grew strawberries in their winter, in a greenhouse she had made herself and she had great success selling them to the restaurants in London and also to the late Queen Mother’s household. Her first green (glass) house was quite small and as she made a bit more money, she enlarged her garden and she did this by herself. She employed no staff and eventually she made enough money to emigrate overseas to live with her son and his family. With the spring approaching in the northern hemisphere, garden activity increases tenfold and I am hoping that our small family will be out of our present situation and into a rural area where I will be able to have a garden that will grow a bunch of stuff (my favorite word!) that I can stack away for the next winter. If you are not in a situation where you can grow your own vegetables etc., (as we are) then keep a keen eye on the flyers from your local supermarket. Recently in our local supermarket (the VONS/Safeway group) we have been lucky as they have had some excellent deals on many vegetables and my husband (over the last 3 weeks or so) has been able to come home with red peppers, asparagus, garlic, cabbage, broccoli, celery, onions etc. Today’s recipes are both sauces for pasta. We like to have wholegrain pasta – it is so good and the texture is great. We get two meals for two people out of a packet of spaghetti for example. If you keep an eye out for specials, wholegrain pasta is not too expensive. Enjoy them both.
KATE’S MIXED VEGGIE SAUCE FOR PASTA
This is one of my ‘dream-up’ recipes using vegetables and chopped up left over sausages. The following vegetables were chopped up (smallish) and the amount is probably about 1 cup each, except for the garlic: asparagus, broccoli, red pepper, celery, garlic – 2 or 3 large cloves finely chopped. Put these in a pan or cooking pot with some margarine, oil or butter (your preference) and cook for a few minutes and add 1 (small) can of tomato paste and 2 teaspoons of fajita seasoning. Put aside until you have cooked your pasta. To the pasta water, add a little more fajita seasoning and some margarine, oil or butter. Once cooked, add perhaps 3 soup ladles of pasta water to the vegetable mix and stir until you have reached a consistency that appeals. To this, add chopped sausages or left over chicken if you have it. Serve the sauce over the pasta and top with cheese if you wish. This recipe is very nice as a chilled salad with cold meat – omitting the addition of sausages or chicken to the sauce.
VEGETABLE SAUCE (NO. 2)
This is a sauce I saw a chef do on the television recently and I found it intriguing as it used apples which is something I have never used in a pasta sauce. It is very simple and is very tasty and again, I think it would make a nice salad to go along with cold meat.
*onion and celery – chopped and cooked in a pan for a few minutes with some olive oil
*a large can of whole tomatoes and 2 grated apples cooked together for a few minutes
*seasonings and herbs of choice (chef’s comments)
Add the above together and serve over spaghetti and top with grated cheese.
Well that’s it for the column for today. I hope you try the above recipes. I would recommend to those of you living in North America that you might like to hook into the Create Channel on television and have a look at the wonderful chefs on this channel. They are terrific people and I would especially recommend Lydia’s Italy and Rick Baylis’s – Mexico One Plate at a Time and Jacques Pepin. There is much to learn from these folk and they are fun to watch.
Take care out there and happy cooking. Cheers from Kate.
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