Sunday, April 17, 2011

Quick Roasted Tomato & Garlic Sauce

I was watching Rachel Ray a few weeks ago and she was making her Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes (click for original recipe!) It looked good but with one exception - I don't like chunky tomato sauce - never have...never will.  However, the recipe just looked too good and I thought "I can use my immersion blender and make a nice sauce out of it".  So...that's what I did.  I also modified it just slightly.  Here is my version:

  • 1 pint Cherry Tomatoes
  • 2-3 large Garlic Cloves
  • Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped basil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Sugar
  • 1 lb of Spaghetti

  1. Set water to boil for spaghetti 
  2. Heat oven to 350
  3. On a baking sheet add the entire pint of cherry tomatoes and the garlic (do not peel)
  4. Season liberally with salt, pepper and some olive oil
  5. Cook for about 10-15 minutes or until the tomatoes & garlic have roasted up nicely
  6. Remove from oven and set aside
  7. Once water boils, cook pasta according to package instructions
  8. In the meantime, blend your cherry tomatoes, garlic and a little more olive oil in a blender ( I used my immersion blender because I love any excuse to use it) 
  9. Taste your sauce and add any additional salt or pepper  - At this point I add a pinch of sugar for some sweetness
  10. Once your pasta has cooked, drain and reserve some of the water
  11. Add your sauce to the pasta, if it's a little dry add some of your pasta water
  12. Sprinkle with your fresh basil and cheese if desired
  13. Enjoy!

Marge's Feta Orzo Salad

Hands down, this IS my FAVORITE Pasta Salad.  I can eat this for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, you name it.  It is so easy and so tasty.....if you like feta - which I do, Alot!

I first had this at my friend's tea party a few years ago.  I had to have the recipe and since then I've made it oh several dozen times. Now I don't know who originated the recipe, all I know is that my friend Marge got me hooked so it has become Marge's Feta Orzo Salad!

I recently had some friends over and we decided to keep things simple and grill.  I wanted to add this to our menu, well because it's good...and I was craving it!

If you like feta, do yourself a favor and make this!

  • 1/4 cup Red Wine Vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
  • 1 Tsp. Honey
  • 1/2 cup Olive Oil 
  • 6 cups Chicken Stock/Broth
  • 1 Box of Orzo (please use Barilla...I did it with Ronzoni once and it wasn't as good. Ronzoni was a bit heavier)
  • 2 cups Cherry/Grape Tomatoes
  • 1 7oz. Container Feta Cheese
  • 1 cup Chopped Green Onion
  • 1/2 cup Toasted Pine Nuts
  • 1 cup Copped Basil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

  1. Wish the first 4 ingredients together and season with salt & pepper - creating your vinegarette
  2. Boil the chicken stock/broth and add the orzo
  3. Once the orzo has cooked, drain and set aside 
  4. Mix the tomatoes, feta, basil and green onions into the orzo
  5. Add vinegarette and toss
  6. Add toasted pine nuts and toss gently
  7. Let salad stand at room temperature and serve when ready