Monday, August 14, 2006

We're having leftovers this week

Pasta Pilaf
America’s Quick Cuisine Copyright 2004

1 tablespoon butter or margarine
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
6 medium-size pear-shaped (Roma-type) tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried basil I used dried
8 ounces dried riso, stars, or other small pasta shape I used alphabet-shaped pasta
¾ cup frozen peas
½ cup half-and-half I used fat-free half-and-half
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1. Melt butter in a wide nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft but not browned, about 5 minutes.
2. Add tomatoes, basil, and ¼ cup water; reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, bring 6 cups water to a boil in a 4-to-5 quart pan over medium-high heat. Stir in pasta and cook just until tender to bite (8 to 10 minutes); or cook according to package directions. Drain well.
3. Add peas and half-and-half to pan with tomato mixture. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil; stir in pasta. Remove from heat and stir in ¼ cup of the cheese. Transfer to a serving dish. Add remaining ¼ cup cheese to taste. (I threw in all of the cheese and I felt it needed all of it.)

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

We're not eating leftovers this week but I'm posting all my leftover posts since I'm not cooking anything worth blogging about this week.

I made this pasta pilaf a couple of weeks ago to use up some alphabet pasta that I had sitting in the pantry. It was good but I felt something wasn't quite right. It could very well have been the fat-free half-and-half but more likely it was the flavorless tomatoes. I don't know why but I haven't been finding any good tomatoes. Aren't you supposed to be able to get good tomatoes in the summer? Where the heck are they?

I will say that this looked exactly like the picture in the cookbook except they used a different pasta shape (riso). I appreciate 'honest' photographs in cookbooks.

I'm so distraught. This past Saturday was gorgeous. I had toyed with the idea of changing my cookout to that date and I didn't. It was the nicest day of the year. This upcoming Saturday, the date I insisted on sticking with, isn't looking so good. That sound you hear? That's me kicking myself.

Question of the Day: Have you had any really good tomatoes yet this year?


Heather said...

I wouldn't know a good tomato from a bad, but I have been making a lot of roasted tomatoes for salsa and tomato sauce and they both taste great.

Unknown said...

We've had a few that we got from a friend and some that were in the "garden" at my parents' new house.

DancesInGarden said...

A spindly heirloom tomato plant in my garden has produced exactly four of the best tasting tomatoes I have ever had. The skins are thin and tender, and look pink but when you cut them open they are blood red and man oh man do they taste good! Even DH and DD (who would practically go into death throes if they found a tomato chunk in something) have been snitching pieces after I cut them.

Too bad I only have that one plant of that kind LOL.

But even our cherry tomatoes are good this year. Home grown beats store bought any day.

ThursdayNext said...

My brother-in-law got some home grown ones from a neighbor and I crushed them with my bare hands to make it into tomato sauce! They were full of flavor.

Sara said...

Our tomato plant has done nothing this year, but we get some fantastic tomatos from the farmers market from a place called whiskey creek.

Anonymous said...

Just one time this summer - from a roadstand in Granite Shoals, Texas. The tomatoes in the stores never, EVER taste like a real tomato. Sometimes you can't even trust roadstands to have the real vine-ripened ones. When we move to the city, I hope to frequent the farmer's markets for produce. There used to be two local gardeners here in our little town from which to get them, but sadly, they have passed on.


Randi said...

I hate raw tomatoes!!