For my first Dark Days Challenge meal, I was fortunate enough to have my friend Karen and her boyfriend Ben in town from Maine, and Jordan from Seattle all over for dinner on Wednesday night. Karen, Jordan and I all worked together in Antarctica, and I wanted to share our garden bounty from this summer with them in the middle of November.
I decided to make a homemade pasta sauce and some green beans I’d blanched and frozen in August. It was an evening of laughs, catching up, new friends and some great food.
Here’s what I made:
Penne Pasta and Tomato Sauce
3 quarts tomatoes (garden grown and canned)
1 onion (organic)
2 cloves garlic (organic)
2 tsp. dried basil
1 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
2 C. Havarti cheese (Danish, next time I’ll find a local source.)
2 C. homemade chicken stock
1/3 C. Parmesan cheese (Costco)
6 TBS. olive oil
4 TBS. fresh flat-leaf parsley (garden)
1 LB. dried Penne pasta (Trader Joe’s)
In large pot add 3 TBS. olive oil, crushed garlic and chopped onion. Sauté until soft. Add 3 quarts of canned tomatoes, spices and broth. Bring to a boil then reduce and simmer for 1.5 hours using back of spoon to break up tomatoes.
Pour sauce in 9″ X 13″ pan. Boil noodles until al dente (they’ll cook more in the oven). Rinse in cold water and mix in remaining olive oil. Fold noodles into dish then fold in Parmesan and Havarti. Place in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with parsley and additional Parmesan if desired.
The green beans I roasted with olive oil and garlic. When they were done I finished them with lemon juice, zest and a bit of anchovy paste. Salt and pepper to taste.