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- 1 1/2 pounds plum tomatoes, cored, cut lengthwise into thin wedges
- 12 Kalamata olives, pitted, sliced
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup diced roasted red or yellow bell peppers from jar
- 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
- 2 tablespoons drained capers, coarsely chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
Combine all ingredients in large bowl; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Let stand at room temperature at least 1 hour and up to 2 hours to allow flavors to blend. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Saute of snapper with fresh tomato and olive sauceFor garlic lovers: Saute of snapper with fresh tomato and olive sauce. Photo: William Meppem Dietary Gluten-free
This is a simple dish and a great one for those who love garlic. The snapper can be replaced by any fish you like. The butter gives the sauce a really nice silkiness.
Easy Tomato Pasta Sauce Recipe
If you’re like me, cooking is simply part of life’s continuing education. Just when I think, “I’ve got this down pat,” or “There’s no possible way this could taste any better,” I get schooled once again.
Take for example the basic, elemental pasta sauce. The one that is so simple it works as the foundation for so many tomato-based recipes where other ingredients do the glitzy red-carpet-look-at-me-I’m-the-star work and the tomato sauce simply shines in the background.
I thought I knew this recipe just by intuition and from following recipes handed down to me from family or ones I’d learned from my hoarder’s collection of magazines.
But I have just discovered, I was doing it all wrong.
This post is another in my partnership with Craftsy, the online teaching site by leading authorities who teach what they know best via online videos. It’s pretty much the epicenter for cooking, DIY, crafting and so much more.
The best part of the Craftsy online classes, besides the secrets, is the flexibility. I set up my laptop or iPad in the kitchen and watch the videos while I’m doing the dishes, so I can preview the recipes to know what to expect. It’s like reading a recipe before you actually make it. You do that, right? I don’t always either…
Then, I can rewatch it, pause it, rewind or whatever I need because the videos can be viewed anytime, anywhere, and as many times as you please. In the words of Ina, how easy is that?
Given it’s tomato season and also that I’m once again craving comfort food, this month I checked out the Classic Italian Pasta Sauces, Meat and Tomato class from award-winning Italian cooking expert, Giuliano Hazan.
The Craftsy class shows step-by-step, in real time, how to prepare ALL of the recipes listed below:
- Easy Tomato Pasta Sauce OR Mother’s Butter, Tomato and Onion Pasta Sauce (get the FREE recipe here)
- Spaghetti al Pomodoro e Basilico OR Spaghetti with Fresh Tomato, Olive Oil, Garlic & Basil
- Bucatini all’Amatriciana OR Spicy Tomato Sauce with Pancetta
- Puttanesca OR Tomatoes, Capers, Olives and Anchovies
- Bolognese Meat Sauce
- Ragù Marchigiano
- Spaghetti alla Checca OR Spaghetti with Raw Tomatoes, Herbs and Mozzarella
- Spaghetti al Sugo Crudo di Peperoni OR Spaghetti With Raw Peppers and Tomato
- Pasta Carbonara
I feel like I’ve become a pretty good pasta saucier, but after watching even the first recipe being made, I realized I really didn’t know the half of it.
Giuliano had some great tips and I used just a few of them in remaking his mother’s famous Butter, Tomato and Onion Sauce.
Oh, this pasta sauce. It is DIVINE!
It is so incredibly bright, so fresh and so simple. And totally opposite of how I’ve been making my basic sauce. There’s no garlic. There’s no olive oil. There’s not even any herbs. Just 4 simple ingredients and some time on the stovetop to create all this flavor.
This is totally going to become my new tomato sauce base for everything. Of course I’ll top it on hot pasta (my Smudge took the leftovers to school in her lunchbag COLD and still raved!), but I’m also going to use it on top of or with:
- As the glue for football season’s meatball sandwiches
- Nestle chicken breasts or thighs in the sauce, maybe with a slice of mozz on top
- As the moist addition to Stuffed Peppers
- Ladled over grilled or sautéed vegetables
- And of course, lasagna, manicotti and gnocchi. And a shaving of Parmigiano-Reggiano, of course.
A few tips I took home from the Craftsy class video about how to make this very versatile aka EASY pasta sauce:
This recipe can be made using either canned or fresh tomatoes. Giuliano used canned whole peeled tomatoes in his version, I opted for 2 pounds of fresh tomatoes from the farmer’s market. The canned tomatoes give a more earthy flavor, and the fresh give a brighter and sweeter taste. I loved the fresh.
If you’re using fresh tomatoes, peel them first. In the past I’ve blanched my tomatoes to skin them, but never again! Giuliano shows the secret to peeling the tomatoes that I’ve never seen before but will totally be doing from here on out.
Does smashing your garlic cloves with the blade of the knife freak you out? It does for Giuliano. So he uses the handle to smash the cloves, instead. Smart!
Giuliano uses butter in this recipe instead of olive oil. And there’s no mincing of the onion. And I used a few specs of basil leaves for garnish because I’m crazy that way, but otherwise, it’s all tomato flavor, baby.
** Note: This recipe didn’t have garlic in it, but Giuliano shared that when you cook garlic you should add it to a cold pan with cold oil or butter so it comes up to heat with the fat and you don’t end up frying it, becoming bitter. I’m taking that one to the bank. I tell you, he has a LOT of tips.
How To Make A Super Quick Fresh Tomato Sauce
This is one of the quickest and easiest ways to make a fresh tomato sauce. It’s not very saucy since the star of this dish are the olives. Therefore the sauce is used to give that extra bit of flavor. If you want a fresh tomato sauce that’s more saucy-like check out this 15-minute fresh tomato sauce.
So to make this sauce, you don’t need to fine chop anything or even skin the tomatoes. Just blend the onion and garlic using a food processor or small blender along with a bit of olive oil. Once it becomes a paste remove and set aside.
Remove the stems of the tomatoes and cut into chunky pieces and add to the food processor as well. Blend until smooth. Saute the onion and garlic paste in a saucepan or skillet along with a bit of olive oil and then add the blended tomatoes. Cook for a few minutes along with a bit of sugar and salt leaving the tomatoes to drain almost completely (this way you caramelize them and remove their sourness). Make sure you stir occasionally using a wooden spoon at this point so you won’t burn the tomatoes.
Then add some pasta water that you saved (the water you boiled the pasta in, which thickens the sauce and makes it more glazy) and simmer for a few minutes before adding the remaining ingredients and finish the dish.
OTHER INGREDIENTS YOU MAY ADD TO A SPAGHETTI WITH OLIVES⬇
- Chopped capers. Mix in along with the olives.
- Sun-dried tomato slices. Mix in along with the olives as well.
- Crumbled Feta cheese. Stir in at the last minute of cooking.
- Fresh basil leaves instead of thyme and oregano.
- Anchovies. Add at the same time as the olives.
- Hot red pepper, or spicy red peppers flakes. Mix in once you remove from heat.
SERVE WITH ⬇
A Greek or Italian cheese like Kefalotyri, Feta, Parmesan, or Pecorino. You may also serve along with crispy croutons on top. Try these super quick and easy to make Homemade Garlic Croutons.
About the Tomato, Garlic and Olive Oil Sauce
The sauce is a very light sauce that uses 3 main ingredients in Italian cooking – olive oil, garlic and fresh tomatoes.
Using small tomatoes like cherry or grape works great as well. If you choose to use larger tomatoes, I’d recommend varieties that are meatier in nature, such as Roma tomatoes.
This is one of those recipes that you can modify here and there with the quantities. Don’t be shy – trust me!
What to serve with Sauce Vierge
This light and fresh, no-cook sauce is particularly good with seafood, but don’t stop there! Here are some more suggestions:
Fish and shellfish – Spoon it over like a salsa
Chicken or pork – Pan-sear meat with just salt and pepper, then spoon over Sauce Vierge
Vegetables – Great served over lightly barbecued or steamed vegetables.
Salsa-type dip – For scooping up with corn chips or homemade crostini!
Spooned over omelettes or a frittata. Or try it with an Egg White Omelette!
Pile onto toasted bread to make bruschetta or crostini
With corn fritters! This would be 100% sensational.
With pasta – What the Italians would call an “uncooked” pasta sauce. Simple boil pasta, toss through the Sauce Vierge.
So there’s just a few ideas to get you started! If you make it, let me know what else you used it for – share it with everyone in the comments below! – Nagi x
PS. No video for this one because it’s a quick bonus recipe today. But if you really want one, let me know in the comments below!
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Back to these basa fillets though. Just in case you don’t know, basa is a type of catfish native to Southeast Asia. Its flesh has a light, firm texture and a mild fish flavor — similar to cod or haddock. In fact, it’s often sold as boneless fish fillets and used in the same way.
One reason basa is so popular is its cost. It’s cheap to grow and harvest, making it competitively priced, even when exported abroad.
Like other types of white fish, basa is low in calories and rich in high-quality protein and contains small amounts of healthy omega-3 fatty acids (though not as much as salmon or mackerel).
Chicken Breasts with Tomato-Olive Sauce
These Italian-inspired Chicken Breasts with Tomato-Olive Sauce are quick to prepare for every day meals and elegant enough for entertaining, too. The flavor of the fresh tomatoes, onion, garlic and olives intensifies while cooking, resulting in a delicious, colorful sauce. (Click on the photo below to see the video!)
I make it often, not just because Robert and I both love the Mediterranean flavors, but also because I tend to have these ingredients on hand. The sauce is scrumptious, and has a bit of a kick to it too!
I love to cook chicken because it’s so versatile, and always have a few breasts in the freezer. Now, is it just me, or are chicken breast halves getting larger and larger these days? I find that, most of the time, one breast half is plenty to serve two people. The problem is how to cut the breast half in half and still have the resulting pieces look like a chicken breast, not just a square lump of chicken meat. It’s actually very easy, and I show you how to do it here.
This recipe calls for 4 large chicken breast halves – which will make 8 breast pieces. I would plan on serving 6 people (not 8) with this amount of chicken because this dish is so delicious, some of your guests will want seconds!
Once you have the breasts prepared and ready to cook, the recipe comes together quickly. You start by seasoning them with a spicy mixture of cayenne pepper, black pepper and paprika. Then you sauté them in a bit of olive oil until beginning to brown.
The breasts are removed from the pan and set aside, so you can make the sauce in the same pan (Robert loves this aspect – less dishes to wash!). Garlic, onion, tomatoes, olives and capers are sautéed in olive oil and chicken broth, then finished with a bit of oregano and butter.
Make sure to put any accumulated juices from the cooked chicken breasts back into the sauce before serving. So easy to prepare, beautiful to present and full of flavor. What more could you ask for?
Vegan tomato sauce pasta
As much as it pains me to admit this my life isn’t all about making dainty vegan desserts. Sometimes real-life stuff gets in the way and the girl cannot afford to spend hours in the kitchen agonising over the consistency of her lemon curd or the level of sweetness of her chocolate cake.
Sometimes the girl wants the dinner to make itself so that she can focus on other stuff. This is exactly where this vegan tomato sauce pasta comes in.
This dish simply makes itself. All that is required of you is to chop up some garlic and to give the sauce a good stir every now and again.
Although usually I’m a passionate advocate of using real, unprocessed ingredients, it is still winter here (I know I said on Friday that spring had arrived but turns out that Greek weather has had a change of heart) so there are no sweet, sun-ripened tomatoes to be had.
So in this recipe I used good quality tinned tomatoes for the sauce. After all, they would have been picked and preserved at the height of Greek tomato season so they are bound to taste better than greenhouse tomatoes available at this time of the year, right? That’s my logic anyway.
This sauce is a basic vegan tomato sauce with a pinch of chilli thrown in for good measure. You are welcome to put your own spin on it. Fresh or dry oregano, basil and parsley are all good additions as is a little bit of onion (fried with the garlic) too.
PS: If you make my easy tomato sauce don’t forget to tag me on Instagram as @lazycatkitchen and use the #lazycatkitchen hashtag. I love seeing your takes on my recipes!
How to make Sun Dried Tomato Olive Pasta In Fresh Tomato Sauce Recipe
To begin making the Sun Dried Tomato Olive Pasta In Fresh Tomato Sauce Recipe by cooking the pasta.
In a large pot, add water and bring it to a boil. Once the water has boiled, add a teaspoon of salt.
Add the spaghetti pasta to the boiling water and cook until it is al dente (just cooked). This process should take a good 12-15 minutes.
Once the spaghetti pasta has cooked, drain the water and run the cooked pasta under running water to stop the cooking process. Drizzle some oil on top of spaghetti pasta and make sure to coat all of the pasta with the oil
*To prepare the Tomato Sauce
Cook the whole tomatoes in a pot of boiling water, you will notice the skin will start to peel off. This means the tomatoes have completely cooked.
Once done drain the water, allow the tomatoes to cool down and peel off the skin. Chop them up into small pieces and blend it into a smooth mixture in a mixer.
Heat a sauce pot with oil, add the garlic. Saute till the garlic becomes soft and tender and is slightly brown. Add in chopped onion and saute until it softens.
Once the onions are cooked half way through, add the pureed tomatoes, sprinkle some salt and sugar. Stir well and allow it to boil. This process will take at least 5 minutes on medium heat.
Once done, stir in the paprika powder and dried herbs and cook for another 5 more minutes and turn off the heat.
The final step is to make the Sun Dried Tomato Olive Pasta in Tomato Sauce.
Heat a pan with 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Add chopped garlic and saute till it is well roasted and lightly softened. Once done, add the cooked pasta and the homemade tomato sauce.
Add in chopped sundried tomatoes and Kalamata olives and stir well.
Season the Sun Dried Tomato Olive Pasta In Fresh Tomato Sauce well with salt, pepper, chili flakes and oregano. Check the taste and bring the pasta to a brisk boil until the sauce gets well coated. Once done, turn off the heat.
Serve the Sun Dried Tomato Olive Pasta In Fresh Tomato Sauce along with Toasted Garlic Bread and a Light And Creamy Broccoli Soup Recipe for a wholesome weeknight dinner.