So yesterday, my fellow blogger Sarah failed to mention during her short and sweet post that she graduated from the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts! Not only did she receive her chef’s hat yesterday, but she also received two awards for having the highest marks! She is clearly destined for great things, and we are so happy and excited for her. Way to go, Chef Sarah!!!
Today, I knew I was going to be spending some time home in the afternoon, allowing me to cook something that took a little time. What a great time to to fill the house with the aromas of a freshly prepared pasta sauce! My sauces are improvised depending on what is on-hand, but this particular combo of ingredients was a winner for sure. This sauce has Springdell written all over it!
First, I chopped up one of the bigger onions and uncased the sweet Italian sausage from our recent share box. I had taken a cue from Sarah’s post and roasted up some of my garlic bulbs, so I mashed a few of those and tossed them into my pot with some olive oil.
Some items from the Springdell Summer 2014 CSA made an appearance, including those fabulous frozen green peppers and a block of purple basil pesto. Some dried oregano from the Springdell herb bed was stirred in, a little under a teaspoon. I sautéed this mixture right in the sauce pot until the sausage was browned and the onions were tender but not browning.
I used to put sugar in my sauce, but no more. Instead, I took two heirloom carrots from the share box and shredded those using the smaller-holed side of a box grater. The carrots, along with some butternut squash purée (about a cup), were enough to sweeten the sauce plenty.
I dug into the pantry for some delicious Springdell tomatoes (also from the Summer 2014 crop), using about a quart and a half. The only two ingredients that weren’t from Springdell, besides the olive oil, were two bay leaves and a small can of tomato paste (I’ll have to try to make my own this year).
After a low simmer was started, this was really looking and smelling fabulous.
I simmered until about 30 minutes before dinnertime, (about an hour or two).
As this week the share box was short on greens, I served dinner with a purple cabbage and carrot slaw. Given the amount of veggie power already packed into the sauce, this slaw wasn’t necessary, but it was nice to have a cool crisp and crunchy accompaniment.
For dessert, I made a potato pie using Springdell red and fingerling potatoes, milk, eggs, & butter. Other ingredients included sugar and a sprinkle of nutmeg. I made the pie crustless to keep it gluten-free-friendly, and served it with freshly whipped cream. Grown-ups and little ones alike enjoyed it and comparisons were made to tapioca, rice pudding, and custard. I’ll be sharing this recipe soon!
- 1 pound Springdell Sweet Italian Sausage, thawed and uncased
- 1/2 bulb roasted garlic cloves, mashed (or 3 fresh and thinly sliced garlic cloves)
- 1 small cube of frozen basil pesto (or fresh basil in the summer)
- 2 carrots, finely grated
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 1/2 quarts tomatoes
- 1 small can tomato paste
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 green bell peppers, chopped (frozen is great)
- 1 cup squash puree (I used butternut)
- 2 tsp olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste (I find this optional)
- Using a large sauce pot over medium heat, add olive oil.
- Add sausage, garlic and onion to the pan and sauté until sausage is browned and onion is tender
- Add peppers, pesto oregano and grated carrots and stir several more minutes until incorporated.
- Add tomatoes, bay leaves, tomato paste and squash puree.
- Stirring, bring the sauce to a gentle boil and lower heat to a simmer, stirring occasionally for an hour or two.
- Serve with your favorite pasta or atop spaghetti squash if you are fortunate enough to have one in your cold storage.