Saturday, September 24, 2011

Red sauce & shells with sauce and smoked mozz

it was sunday and i was getting antsy pantsy sitting around doing nothing.  i wanted to cook all kind of things!  so i started with some gravy (as old italian grandmothers call it).  usually i like to put meats and veggies in my sauce but then it's just tomato sauce, it's not gravy.  i thought i would give gravy a shot for once.  so i got all my stuff together:

-2 cans whole plum tomatoes in juice (unsalted is preferable, I got some at Trader Joe's they were organic but salted and with basil)
-2 cans tomato paste
-1 onion
-1 head of garlic
-olive oil and butter
-salt and pepper
-dried seasonings: garlic powder, onion powder, crushed red pepper seeds, paprika, cayenne pepper, ancho chili powder [literally the pepper dried then ground  up], oregano, basil

 1. dice onion and chop the garlic fine.  get an enormous pot to put all this wonderfulness in.  heat up some olive oil and butter in the pot, throw in the garlic and onion.  Let it cook a little bit, I let it carmelize a bit and thsi made it a sweeter sauce, which was nice since i had so much heat from the hot peppers.

2. Open the tomatoes, before putting them into the pot, squish them with your hands and break them apart.  This is the funnest part! be careful, they have lots of juice in them and they will squirt all over the place (that's what she said!)

3.  Add the  tomato paste, season with everything you got.  Crank up the heat and bring it to a boil.  Then lower the heat to low.  Mix it up really good and wait.

4. Stir every 15-30 minutes to make sure all the flavors are melding nicely.  Taste it every time you lift the lid.

4.  After about 2 hours of slow cookin, your gravy will be awesome!  and the smell in your house is pretty ama-sing.

So  now that i have all this gravy, i needed something to do with it.  i had bought some small shell pasta on sale and a good chunk of smoked mozz so the brain started piecing it together.

I boiled the shells and then threw them into a large baking dish, covered them in sauce then covered them in shredded smoked mozz, i baked it in the oven (with the cornbread, yay using the oven for more than 1 thing!) until the mozz was nice and melty.
before it went in the oven

after the oven
finished product
it was a big hit and it lasts for days and days!  i still have some gravy leftover, with which i am sure i will make something, i'm thinking chick peas with gravy and maybe some indian spices to make it a party in my mouth.

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