Last night was Pookie’s late night at the library, which means I have to have dinner ready at 10:00 instead of our standard 7:00. The most difficult part of this is having the get-up-and-go, after an evening of IMing with her, to actually cook something. Normally I make things like “linguini fini tossed with butter, olive oil, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes” (read: “lazy and pretty lame, but with a glass of red wine can actually pass as a decent-ish dinner”) or “DiGiorno” (read: “lazy and really lame, but IPB Manor’s most beloved guilty pleasure”). This week I felt strangely inspired, and compelled to get creative. Of course, creative for me involves taking only the tiniest of steps outside my comfort zone, or trying — gasp! — a new recipe. So if I seem unreasonably proud of something that is actually insanely simple, well, the reason why is that I’ve never made anything like this before.
I happened to have a heap of things from the Farm that were a) crying out to have something done with them ASAP, and b) crying out to be roasted and then turned into a pasta sauce. A mountain of sauce tomatoes (a mix of plum dandies and amish paste), a front hall closet choked to its rafters in curing garlic (it has been a crazy year for garlic) and five bright red peppers (the ones shaped like cubanelles, not bell peppers). So I oven-roasted the tomatoes until they were peeling and shriveling, roasted the garlic until it was creamy soft and making the house smell deliriously good, and slapped the peppers under the broiler (stupid not having a gas main on my street…) until they were blistered and blackened. Then I pushed the tomatoes through the food mill, sauteed up some onions, and added the tomatoes, garlic, chopped red peppers (sans skins), some oregano and salt and pepper and simmered it until it was thick. Then I tossed in some fresh basil, and served on spaghetti with some freshly grated Parmesan on top.
You might read this and say, “Huh. Sounds like a pretty safe meal.” For me, though, it was wildly daring. And it was also wildly delicious. And no, I don’t have a picture, because after doing all that work after a long day, I’d used up all my giddy-up and couldn’t be bothered to turn on the camera. Suffice to say it was red and it looked delicious.