Hey summer kids. This is part of a new series of posts that I’ve titled “LAZY GIRL RECIPES” after my passion of NOT cooking. I am a lazy chef. When I think of going to the store, gathering all the ingredients (spending half my life savings on organic), hauling them out of the car, washing them, prepping, peeling, chopping, processing, heating, baking, searing, cooling (the food and MYSELF it’s so DARN HOT I’M SWEATING), plating (how the hell do you make food look photoshoot ready?), and serving it is enough to scare me out of cooking for anyone EVER. And on top of that, I then have to eat it in the company of friends and look semi cute? Too. Much.
So, I’ve put together some fun ideas if you’re like me and just want simple, creative meals that aren’t totally lackluster. This one was adapted from a Food Network recipe that I tweaked to make easier. I can’t tell you how incredibly proud I was of myself for making my own tomato sauce from scratch! This is unheard of for me.
It’s all about pushing boundaries people! Cooking isn’t in my wheelhouse of special skills, but this year it’s all about challenging myself, so here we go.
Fresh basil is one of my favorite things in the world.
In the grocery basket:
2 lbs of fresh tomatoes (I used a mixture of larger vine and cherry)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 red onion finely chopped
3 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
Pinch of chili flakes
1/2 box of angel hair pasta
1/4 cup chopped basil + a few whole sprigs for garnish
OKAY. I’M GOING TO MAKE THIS SUPER EASY FOR YOU.
PREPPIN’ THE TOMS:
1. Get two large pots.
1st pot: bring water to a boil.
2nd pot: fill with water and ice to create an “icebath”
Sounds weird, just do it.
2. Cut a small “x” on the bottom of each tomato. Tedious, but do it.
3. The dreaded ICEBATH!
This was the step that freaked me out. It sounds harder and way more extensive than it really is. Trust me, so easy…and actually sort of fun. I felt like I was giving little babies baths!
In batches, place the tomatoes in the boiling water (blanching them) for about 30 seconds-1 min, or until you see the skins are peeling off.
Remove and quick like fire, plunge them into the ice bath! Repeat until all the tomatoes are done. You’re basically trying to get them soft so the skins are easily removable.
4. Peel the tomatoes and cut them in half horizontally (not from the stem down, cut into the middle and across). Squeeze out the seeds. Dig in there kids and get them all!!
5. Now that they are peeled and seeded, you can chop them up and set them aside for now.
Insider secret: If you are REALLY LAZY, you can skip all this and just use canned tomatoes. But honestly, it tastes 10,000 times better when you make it fresh.
MAKIN’ THE SAUCE
6. Bring a saute pan to medium heat. Add olive oil.
7. Once hot and sizzly, add your onions and garlic (the sweetest combination known to mankind) and saute for roughly 2 minutes.
8. Add thyme and chili flakes. Wait until garlic starts to get all golden browny.
9. Now, little chefs add your tomatoes and sugar. Stir. Lower the temp and cook for 15 minutes, or until the sauce is pretty dry.
10. Boil your pasta in salted water! I’m pretty stoked about how my pasta came out. I just followed the darn directions on the box and cooked my angel hair for 4 minutes on the dot and they came out perfectly al dente. Experiment with yours as each brand is probably different. I taste tested a noodle virtually every 30 seconds like a crazy person to make sure they were perfect. Hah!
Put it all together. This is where your creativity comes in. Pick a pretty pasta bowl. Garnish with your basil and maybe even some grated parmesan! Invite friends or skeptics who didn’t think you would ever make your own pasta sauce from scratch and make them eat your concoction…..and then rub it into their faces.
YOU DID IT! NOW ENJOY. I TOLD YOU. EASY.
Love you guys. Comment below with any ideas for other yummy summer foods or recipes. What do you like to cook?