Monday, September 20, 2010

Autumn Sauce

We are still getting fantastic tomatoes, and probably will for a few weeks yet. I was staring down a pound of very ripe, red beauties that sat warming themselves on my sunny windowsill. My husband loves pasta, me... not so much. I think what I don't like about pasta is how heavy it can feel, (and how heavy I feel after eating a plate of it.) 
So, my personal mission became to create a very light tomato sauce that would just skim over al dente penne. I also wanted to change tack, moving away from basil to season my tomatoes. I went with rosemary, because I knew that I would also be incorporating slivers of country ham into my sauce.
The rosemary brought a savoury sense of autumn to the sauce.  

The basic sauce has just 4 ingredients and can be used as is, or as a base for a more elaborate sauce. I give instructions for both below.

Basic Rosemary Sauce
1 tablespoon (dessert spoon) extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
2 fat cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 pound very ripe tomatoes, squeezed of seeds, roughly chopped
1 sprig fresh rosemary (whole)

  1) Set small sauce pan over medium heat, pour in the EVOO and scatter in the garlic. Allow them to warm up together. When the garlic becomes fragrant, add in the tomatoes and bring to a gentle simmer, then sink the rosemary sprig into the tomatoes. Simmer until the tomatoes have broken down and most of the leaves have fallen form the rosemary sprig, about 20 minutes.

 2) If you are using the sauce as is, season with sea salt now. If you are carrying on with this recipe, do not add salt (the additional ingredients are quite salty). Remove the rosemary stick and mash with a fork, or whiz in a blender, or use an immersion blender to smooth out the sauce.

Autumn Sauce
12 oz penne
1 teaspoon EVOO
8 oz (220 grams) country ham (very salty, southern ham) or prosciutto, cut into slivers or small cubes
1 shallot, minced
handful of green olives, chopped
1 glug dry white wine (best from the glass you are drinking)
Basic Rosemary Sauce
Several shakes of  red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper
A ladle (1/2 tea cup) of pasta cooking water
2 tablespoons, pats, of butter or EVOO

1) Bring a large pot of water to a boil, then add in the pasta and start the sauce. In a large saute pan, pour 1 teaspoon EVOO and add in the salty ham and shallot. If using country ham, it needs to be cooked, if using prosciutto, it simply needs to be warmed. Now add in the green olive and deglaze with a glug of wine. Allow to bubble away for a minute or two then add in the Sauce and a ladle of pasta cooking water. Bring to a gentle simmer and allow to bubble until the penne is done. Once done, drain the pasta and add the butter or EVOO and red or cayenne pepper into the sauce. Incorporate, then toss in the penne.

                                Serve with Parmesan and freshly cracked black pepper. Serves 4


Gine said...

I try this sause today!
Any pumpkin recipies welcome.
How do I make allspice, we don't have this in Belguim.

JennyB said...

Hi Gine!
I will develop soe pumpkin recipes-- great idea!
We lived in Switzerland for 5 years and I, too could not locate allspice. Allspice is the dried berry from a tree in Jamaica.
To substitute, try this concoction: 1 part ground cloves, 1 part ground (dried) ginger and 2 parts cinnamon. Mix together and store in an airtight jar.

Let me know how it works out!

Did you make the Autumn Sauce? how'd that do?


Anonymous said...

Awesome blog thank you! You should checkout my site

Anonymous said...

Good evening

Awesome post, just want to say thanks for the share