Zoodles with Spicy Tomato Butter Basil Sauce

September 9, 2015

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Since I just told you about those delicious Pad Thai Zoodles, I figure zucchini noodles might still be on your mind. So it would be the perfect time to share this Spicy Tomato Butter Basil sauce recipe with ya’ll. We’ve have been enjoying this amazing sauce over zoodles all summer long. The buttery sauce is just perfect over that fresh zucchini. But even if you’re not in to zucchini noodles

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– which I can’t imagine because they are sooo yummy – this rich decadent tomato sauce is equally to die for over regular old pasta.

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I bet a lot of you folks have bunches of ripe tomatoes that need to be put to good use and this recipe is just the thing for that. But if you are in a bit of a hurry and don’t want to make things totally from scratch, you can substitute in two 28 oz. cans of diced tomatoes (I love the San Marzano ones)  in lieu of the garden fresh option. Always tasty, no matter which way you go. And you’ll have quite a bit of this sauce. Generally the husband and I get two to three meals out of a batch of it. So if you don’t fancy having it for dinner twice in a week, the good news is that it freezes very well.

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Fresh and flavourful, lush and velvety, you just can’t go wrong with this Spicy Tomato Butter Basil Sauce. Serve it over zoodles for a light, summer garden vibe and when you need some cold weather comfort, it will be just the winter warmer you need served over a big bowl of pasta.

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Zoodles with Spicy Tomato Butter Basil Sauce

  • Servings: 3 cups sauce - enough for 2 -4 servings zoodles
  • Difficulty: easy
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recipe for Spicy Tomato Butter Sauce with Basil slightly adapted from: Once Upon a Chef

Ingredients:

For the Zoodles:

  • 5 medium zucchini
  • 3 Tablespoons of olive oil

For the Spicy Tomato Butter Sauce with Basil:

  • 4 pounds plum tomatoes (or two 28-ounce can diced plum tomatoes)
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium yellow onions, peeled and cut in half
  • garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 1 red pepper, finely diced
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (you may not need this if your tomatoes are very sweet)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • freshly grated parmesan cheese – to serve

Directions:

If using fresh tomatoes: Using a sharp knife, cut an 1/4-inch deep X on one end of each tomato. Then, place scored tomatoes into a pot of boiling water and cook until you see the skin starting to wrinkle and split, 1-3 minutes, then lift the tomatoes out with the slotted spoon and plunge them into a bowl of ice cold water. Peel the skin off of the tomatoes and cut into 1/2-inch chunks. (Cut off and discard the cores at this point.)

Place the diced tomatoes and all of their juices into a large saucepan. Add the butter, olive oil, onions, garlic, red pepper, salt and sugar and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 75-90 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the sauce is no longer watery. Remove and discard the onions and any large chunks of garlic (the garlic should have mostly dissolved into the sauce). Personally, I like onions and at this point these onions are sooooo tasty, I couldn’t bear to throw them away. So I chopped one of the onions up and added it back into the sauce. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Add basil right before serving.

Cut the zucchini into noodles by using a vegetable spiralizer tool. Cut zucchini noodles to a manageable fork twirling length – about 10 – 12″. Toss zoodles with a bit of salt and set aside for 15 – 30 minutes so that they can release some of their moisture. Drain zoodles. Add olive oil to frying pan and heat over medium heat. Add zucchini noodles and cook for 2-3 minutes or until tender. Take care not to overcook the zoodles. They are better slightly crunchy. Turn the heat off and let the zucchini noodles sit for about 5 minutes to allow as much moisture as possible to release from the noodles. Drain excess water away.

Add your desired amount of spicy tomato butter sauce to zoodles and toss to coat. Serve topped with freshly grated parmesan.

Enjoy!

Zoodles with Spicy Tomato Sauce with Basil brought to you by: Runcible Temps (www.leaandjay.com)

 

 

 


Rustic Caprese Galette

September 9, 2014

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Ahhhhh…..Caprese Salad. How I do love you! Summertime eating at it’s best. Insalata Caprese, or Salad of Capri, which is a small island off Italy’s southern coast, is a simple salad made with mozzarella cheese, tomatoes and basil, sprinkled with salt and drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. It is often served as an antipasto (starter) in Italy. I like it as a starter, I like it as a side dish and as the main dish, truth be told.  Indeed, I like all of its various incarnations. I’ve eaten it as a sandwich on some nice crusty bread, I’ve gobbled it up as a pizza and I’ve even scarfed it down on top of a grilled chicken breast. Always delicious! So when I found myself with a bumper crop of cherry tomatoes and a batch of fresh basil pesto, straight from my little deck garden, I knew just what I wanted to do. I had already served up quite a lot of the traditional Caprese Salad this summer and wanted to put a different little spin on the dish. That is when I decided to go with a Rustic Caprese Galette.

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I used my favourite pie dough for the galette crust. Luckily for me, I already had a batch of that dough ready to go. The recipe I give you below makes enough for two pie crusts, so I always freeze one so that I’ve got one ready at a moment’s notice. Instead of fresh basil leaves, I used my fresh basil pesto as the sauce. Now be careful, you don’t want to apply the pesto as thickly as you would a sauce. A little goes a long way. I covered that with fresh halved cherry tomatoes and then added a layer of fresh mozzarella cheese. The real stuff ok…don’t use that pre-shredded plastic that the supermarkets claim is mozzarella. Not wanting to leave out the classic Caprese Salad ingredients of salt  and olive oil, I painted a flavoured Italian Olive Oil over the folded edges of the tart and sprinkled it with Maldon Smoky Sea Salt flakes. Right before serving I drizzled a little balsamic vinegar reduction over the top.

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The results were delicious! Flaky, buttery crust, fresh fragrant veggies, creamy dreamy mozzarella and tangy balsamic bliss. Summertime perfection!

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Rustic Caprese Galette

Ingredients:

For the galette crust:

  • 2 1/2 cups (360 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup (227 grams) very cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (2 sticks)
  • 6 tablespoons vodka (chilled)
  • 2 Tablespoons ice water

For the filling:

  • 3-4 Tablespoons Basil Pesto (recipe below/ or store bought if you are in a rush)
  • 18 -20 cherry tomatoes (halved)
  • 12 -14 slices fresh mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup Balsamic vinegar
  • Olive Oil to brush over folded edges of galette
  • Maldon Smoked Sea Salt for sprinkling

Directions:

This recipe will make enough dough for two pie crusts. The second one can be kept in the fridge for up to two days or frozen for 3 months. If you’re making dough, you may as well make a second one while you’re at it and then you’ll be ahead of the game when preparing your next delicious creation.

Mix 6 tablespoons of vodka and 2 tablespoons of water. Put in fridge or freezer (don’t forget it) to chill.

Add 1 1/2 cups flour, salt to a food processor. Pulse 2 to 3 times until combined.

Scatter butter cubes over flour and process until a dough or paste begins to form, about 15 seconds. (There should be no uncoated flour).

Scrape bowl, redistribute the flour-butter mixture then add remaining 1 cup of flour. Pulse 4 to 5 times until flour is evenly distributed. (Dough should look broken up and a little crumbly).

Transfer to a medium bowl then sprinkle 6 tablespoons of ice water/vodka over mixture. Using a rubber spatula, press the dough into itself. The crumbs should begin to form larger clusters. If you pinch some of the dough and it holds together, it’s ready. If the dough falls apart, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of extra water/vodka and continue to press until dough comes together.

Remove dough from bowl and place in a mound on a clean surface. Work the dough just enough to form a ball. Cut ball in half then form each half into discs. Wrap each disc with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour, and up to 2 days. You can also freeze it for up to 3 months (just thaw it overnight in the fridge before using).

Preheat your oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Transfer one disc (save the other for some other delicious creation) of the pastry dough from the refrigerator to a lightly floured work surface. Roll out to a 12 inch circle. Transfer the dough to the prepared, parchment lined baking sheet.

Sprinkle a bit of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese over the dough where the filling will be placed. This not only adds a lot of flavour, but will also keep the crust from getting soggy – so I’m told. Spread the basil pesto evenly over the pastry, leaving a 2-inch border all around.  Remember you don’t need a whole lot with pesto, a little goes a long way. Cover the pesto with the halved cherry tomatoes and then place the mozzarella slices over the top. Gently fold over the pastry border, overlapping the edges as much as possible and gently pressing the folds together.

Brush the folded edges of the crust with an infused or flavoured olive oil. I used italian spice blend olive oil. Or simply use a beaten egg yolk. Sprinkle the smoked flaky sea salt  over the crust. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the crust has become a lovely golden brown.

While your galette is in the oven, place the balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil and cook for 3-5 minutes until the vinegar becomes syrupy. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Remove galette from oven and drizzle with the balsamic reduction just prior to serving.

Enjoy!

Basil Pesto

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup of pine nuts, toasted
  • 3/4 – 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup Parmesan Reggiano, freshly grated
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice

Directions:

Arrange pine nuts on baking tray. Toast in 375º F oven until golden brown. Keep an eye on them as they can burn quickly. Remove from tray and set aside to cool.

Place all ingredients except olive oil in food processor. Whizz all ingredients together while slowly drizzling in olive oil, stopping to scrape sides down occasionally, until thick and creamy consistency is reached.

Adjust spices to taste.

Store in airtight container in refrigerator. Will keep for 1 -2 weeks.

Rustic Caprese Galette brought to you by: Runcible Eats (http://www.leaandjay.com )


Caprese Quinoa Bake

July 15, 2014

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Swampy summer is in full swing here in Virginia. Some folks were talking about a polar vortex showing up to cool things off a bit, but it must have taken a detour because it definitely has not whirled itself anywhere near here yet! It is Oppressive out there! I think my friend’s little girl described it best when she stepped outside and said “Feels like dog breath in my face.” Yup. That is pretty much it. So big heavy meals aren’t particularly appealing to me now. Light and fresh is what is called for and I think I’ve found just the thing. This Caprese Quinoa Bake with its roasted cherry tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, fresh basil and balsamic vinegar drizzle practically screams summer. The good things about summer that is…not the dog breath things. I must admit, I’m a new comer to Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah). Sure I’ve seen it around and heard folks raving about it and could see it was quite the fad. But I was afraid it might be like kale (I. Hate. Kale.). You know, supposedly really good for you,but something you had to literally had to choke down, like cod liver oil. I avoided it and figured if I waited long enough, it would disappear from the group consciousness. But feeling a bit adventurous one day and desperately trying to find a new recipe for Meatless Monday, I decided to give it a go and I was quite pleasantly surprized by its fluffy texture and light and nutty taste. I really like it. Like I might like it more than rice. And come to find out, it not only tastes great but it is also really good for you. It has been grown in the Andes region as far back as 3,000 – 4,000 years ago. Technically it is not a grain, but a seed and is a closely related to spinach. This super food is gluten-free and protein packed, high in fiber, phosphorus and magnesium, a good source of calcium and has high levels of antioxidants and omega 3’s. Yay Quinoa! It is very easy to prepare and quite adaptable to a variety of dishes (quite a few more of which will be showing up here soon…what can I say? I’m smitten!) One thing you do want to remember is to rinse it before cooking. Quinoa naturally has a bitter coating on it. Most brands you purchase in the stores claim to be pre-washed, but just to be sure, place it in a fine mesh strainer and give it a 30 second shower before cooking.

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I can tell you not only will this dish be in high rotation this summer, but with all of it’s sweet, savoury fresh flavours, I think it will make it into the cooler months as well. It was a very satisfying meatless Monday main dish, would be equally brilliant as a side dish or if you found yourself catering for some serious carnivores it would also be quite tasty with the addition of some italian sausage or pancetta. (You definitely want to stay on the good side of those carnivores in my opinion. And it’s a bad idea to let them go hungry!) So don’t fear the Quinoa, embrace it. I’ve totally drank the kool aid and I’m not looking back!

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Caprese Quinoa Bake

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

recipe from: Domesticate Me

Ingredients:

  • 1¼ cups uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups petite Roma or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • 2 small shallots, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup packed basil leaves, thinly sliced
  • 4 ounces fresh part-skim mozzarella cheese, grated (about 1 cup of grated cheese)
  • 8 ounces fresh part-skim mozzarella cheese, sliced into 1/4–inch rounds
  • 2 beefsteak tomatoes, sliced into ¼-inch rounds
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar

Ingredients:

Pre-heat your oven to 400°F.
In a small pot, bring the quinoa and 1¾ cups plus 2 tablespoons water to a boil. Lower to a simmer and cook, covered, for 15 minutes until all of the water has been absorbed. Let the quinoa rest, covered, for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
While the quinoa is cooking, place the halved tomatoes on a foil-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with salt and fresh ground pepper. Transfer to the oven and roast for 10 minutes until they’re tender and the skins have started to burst.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium pan over medium heat. When hot, add the minced shallots and garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the shallots have become translucent and the garlic is fragrant.
In a large bowl combine the quinoa, roasted tomatoes, cooked shallots and garlic, and basil. Stir in the grated mozzarella and season with salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.
Transfer the quinoa mixture to a large skillet and smooth the top. (A round, square or rectangular baking dish is also just fine.)
Starting in the center, overlap slices of tomatoes and mozzarella in a small circle. Make a second circle of overlapping tomatoes and mozzarella, covering the surface of the quinoa. (If you’re using a square or rectangular dish, just make two lines of overlapping tomatoes and mozzarella and call it a day.)
Cover the skillet loosely with foil and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 20 minutes until the cheese is bubbling and lightly browned.
While your quinoa bake is in the oven, place the balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil and cook for 3-5 minutes until the vinegar becomes syrupy. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Sprinkle your quinoa bake with freshly sliced basil and drizzle with the balsamic reduction. Serve immediately.

Enjoy!

Caprese Quinoa Bake brought to you by: Runcible Eats (http://www.leaandjay.com )

 


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