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Food Friendly May: Slow but Fuss-Free | Manolo for the Big Girl

Food Friendly May: Slow but Fuss-Free

 There’s nothing like fresh foods prepared with great care. But many of us lead busy lives that make cooking from scratch every day seem like a daunting task. And even some of us who have the time don’t have a lot of inclination to spend a lot of time over the stove.

In fact, as much as I love to promote home cooking and fresh foods, there are things I almost never make because they seem like too much trouble to me compared to the reward. One of the biggies this way for me is tomato sauce for pasta. It’s rare than I have the sheer number of really good tomatoes to make it worth while. And with the number and variety of tomato sauces on the grocery store shelves in jars and cans…well, it’s easy to find a sauce that tastes good and fits my budget. Then I can just open it up, heat it, perhaps toss in a quick smattering of fresh herbs or cut up a couple more tomatoes for chunkiness and serve it to family and friends.

But I found a recipe the other day that I can’t wait to try out. It’s not precisely tomato sauce, but it would serve much the same purpose. It could also be served up as a snack on its own or added to a commercial tomato sauce for extra interest…really, I can think of a dozen ways to use these nibbles, but the first one I thought of was using it in place of tomato sauce.

It takes even longer to make than tomato sauce, but you don’t have to give it any attention once you get it started. In fact, you just leave it while you head off to bed or to work. Don’t worry, you won’t burn down the house and you don’t need a crock pot to do it.

So how does this miracle work? Read on, my friends, read on.

Moonblush Tomatoes (from Nigella Express by Nigella Lawson)

1 lb. (about 24 in number) cherry or other baby tomatoes

2 Tbl olive oil

2 tsp Kosher salt

1 tsp dried thyme

1/4 tsp sugar

Preheat oven to 450F

Cut the tomatoes in half and sit them cut side up in an ovenproof dish. Sprinkle with olive oil, salt, thyme, and sugar.

Put them in the oven and immediately turn it off. Leave the tomatoes in the oven overnight or all day without opening it.

And that’s all there is to it!

It just so happens that my corner grocer has baby roma tomatoes on sale right now. That means I’m going to try this out right away.

7 Responses to “Food Friendly May: Slow but Fuss-Free”

  1. class factotum May 10, 2009 at 1:42 pm #

    I would change teams for Nigella.

  2. Kate May 10, 2009 at 8:54 pm #

    So… Here’s the easiest tomato sauce ever (we usually start it when the pasta goes into the water):

    Warm up 3 – 4 tbl. of olive oil in a pan with 2ish cloves of garlic (whole — you can up this if you like).
    Add 1 14oz. can of diced tomatoes, 1 6oz. can of tomato paste, a pinch of salt, and 3 – 4 fresh basil leaves (if you can’t get fresh, use 1/2 tsp. dried basil).
    Blend well and cook over a low fire for not more than 10 minutes.
    Remove the garlic before serving (it’s yummy to eat, though).

    I got this from my boyfriend’s dad, who’s actually Italian, so I’m pretty sure the use of tinned tomatoes is kosher (forgive my cultural mixing).

  3. Twistie May 11, 2009 at 10:34 am #

    @ class factotum: I don’t blame you. Not only is she utterly gorgeous, you’d always be ridiculously well fed.

    @ Kate: I would definitely add more garlics and leave them in. Seriously, any vampires in my neighborhood would get heartburn just passing by my house. Garlic is a way of life around Casa Twistie. Also, I’m down with using kosher and Italian in the same sentence. After all, there are jewish Italians. Some of them keep kosher. And while my knowledge of kosher cooking is not extensive, I don’t see any glaring reason why this recipe can’t be kosher…so long as the tomatoes are slaughtered properly. (ducks the wrath of Francesca)

  4. Genevieve May 11, 2009 at 1:29 pm #

    “Garlic is a way of life around Casa Twistie.”

    I knew there was a reason I liked you. ;) When I make pasta sauce, I’m pretty sure my *neighbors* are protected from vampires (I live in an apt complex so it’s not as bad as it sounds, b/c we can always smell each other’s food in the hallway, but still).

    That recipe sounds fantastic, and I will be trying it this week!

  5. JenniferP May 11, 2009 at 1:58 pm #

    What a great-sounding recipe! Here’s what I would do with it:

    Throw a pile of arugula down on a plate.
    Toss the tomatoes with angel-hair pasta and serve on top of the arugula.
    Grate a little parmesan over the whole thing and call it goooood.

  6. Jeanine May 11, 2009 at 3:39 pm #

    I’ve been doing that recipe for years, and it is lovely.

    I have put them on top of a bit of rosemary thyme bread, it it was nice. I’ve even added them to a bit of roasted pork, and it was even better.

    I love simple recipes like this.

  7. Kimks May 13, 2009 at 9:39 am #

    Where are the new posts?