Wednesday, February 15, 2012

AM~Erica Can Fake It (a from-scratch recipe, that is)

So anyway...

I recently started cooking. I actually began doing things that aren't solely done in the microwave about 7 years ago, but I fake a lot of what I do. Seriously. But, even more recently, I've actually attempted things from scratch.

When "special" holidays come up (well, ones you can have fun with food), I try to do something fun with the menu that goes along with the day. And I have a goofy brain, so I like to take things & make food puns or just inspirations...then base a menu based on it. (whether my kids like it or not)

Lincoln's birthday just past. Did you even realize? I knew it was coming & wanted to do something fun. I made a pasta dish for the day. It can also be done on President's Day, too.

I made an adapted recipe from scratch. Just note that I don't do well with sharing my own recipes (like with measurements). I will put down what I did & you can figure out the measurements if you'd like. I just do "a bit of this" or "a bit of that". But I will share what I did & the results.



I placed sunburst & cherry tomatoes along with a diced orange bell pepper on a lightly greased baking sheet (sprayed with vegetable oil), drizzled them with olive oil (EVOO), tossed & placed in a preheated oven to 450 degrees for about 10 minutes. If you want some onion, you can dice a peeled onion & do the same thing. The tomatoes will burst (not explode, like my daughter thought & was hoping for). Pull the baking sheet out; let cool for just a moment & then remove as many skins as possible & place in a pot on the stovetop.

Lightly salt the tomato & bell pepper innards while simmering. Allow to cook down. This took me a whole afternoon. Just keep stirring during the process. Add about half a cup of orange juice to the tomatoes & peppers. Add seasonings like oregano, basil, parsley & cilantro to the mixture. Add some orange zest & grated garlic, too. If you did not use an onion on a baking sheet, add some minced onion to the mixture. Stir.

Keep the mixture on simmer & keep stirring once in a while to keep things going & even. The sauce will thicken during the process.

When it comes time for the pasta, I used penne pasta in regular & whole wheat varieties. Cook according to package directions to al dente. Just before draining, reserve 1 to 1 & a half cups of the starchy water & add to the sauce mixture. Stir.

When the pasta is drained, place it in a large serving bowl/dish & add some butter or margarine to the pasta along with some parmesan cheese. When the sauce is all mixed & a good consistency (may be a little runnier), carefully add the sauce to the pasta & mix it together.

Once the pasta is coated, add some pepperoni (I love using turkey pepperoni) instead of meatballs or ground meat to the mix. Serve.

You can also serve some bread sticks with pasta, too.


Penne Pasta (haha - penne = penny)
Orange sauce (copper color)
Pepperoni (coin-like)
Cherry Tomatoes (cherry tree - Washington)
Bread Sticks (Lincoln Logs)

Yeah...this is where my brain goes!

The pasta sauce has a slightly sweet taste due to the sweet tomatoes used, the bell pepper & the orange zest & juice. Overall, I was very happy. My kids whined about it, but they don't like food change...but we are working on it. My hubby liked it & had 3 helpings of it at dinner.

So...there's an idea for President's Day dinner &/or for Lincoln's birthday next year. (It's February 12th, btw...for future reference.)

If you try it, let me know! Hope you enjoy it!

Stay tuned...

God Bless, AM~Erica

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