Friday, February 10, 2012

Chunky Tomato & Pea Sauce

I know this looks a lot like the salsa from yesterday's post, but I promise it's not! Like canned black beans, I also buy LOTS of canned tomatoes - especially in the winter, when tomatoes aren't in season and the ones in the store are a little suspect. The thing I like about canned tomatoes is that they're versatile, you can buy lots of different textures, and best of all: they're CHEAP! At some point, I'll do a post on the pros and cons of different types of canned tomatoes, but for now let's focus on this chunky sauce.

I actually made this a few nights ago with some spaghetti and the end of a triangle of parmesan, but last night it was perfect for a pre-bed snack with a generous hunk of toasted semi-stale baguette...

Chunky Tomato & Pea Sauce
Serves 2
1/2 box spaghetti (or pasta of your choice)
1 can petite diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup frozen peas (do not thaw!)
1/4 teaspoon cumin
salt & pepper to taste

1) Heat olive oil over medium in a medium-sized pan. While oil is heating, prepare water for pasta (follow directions on your pasta box!). Once oil has heated enough to form VERY small bubbles, toss in chopped garlic & onion. Cook until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.

2) Add frozen peas, stir to coat with oil. Cook until peas are completely thawed. You'll probably notice some extra liquid accumulating in the pan.

3) Add in tomatoes - feel free to drain the tomatoes a bit if you like your sauce thicker. I left the juice in mine, it was thin & chunky that day, but thickened up a lot in the fridge.

4) Cook until tomatoes have warmed. Add cumin and salt & pepper to taste. Let simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Like I said, this can be served over pasta or rice or whatever you want. I think it would also be a great topping for bruschetta as an appetizer or snack!
In the summer, canned tomatoes can be replaced with fresh blanched & skinned tomatoes. In that instance, you'd probably want to use 4-5 roma tomatoes and add a little extra water. Honestly, it's better with the fresh guys.

In case the cumin weirds you out, 1/4 teaspoon isn't really enough for the sauce to have a "cumin" flavor. I added just enough to give some of the depth that a meat sauce might have. I don't like my sauces to taste to "tomato-ey" and I usually find that a touch of cumin helps cut that just enough!

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