I recently completed a sprint triathlon, even though I hate running (and exercise in general). One of the only things that gets me through the training is the ability to eat whatever I want because I know I’ll burn the calories off later. This lasagna, which I made for carb loading the night before the race, is the cherry on top.
This is another one of those cleaning out the fridge recipes. I had this grand plan to make someone else’s goat cheese pasta recipe, but then it was the end of the week… and I was tired… So instead, I decided to challenge myself to generate a different pasta recipe with that goat cheese, using as many fridge ingredients as possible and as few dishes as possible. I’d heard about those one-pot pasta recipes and can totally understand the appeal but have always been concerned about the quality of the final product. This recipe isn’t quite to the level of dump everything in a pot and forget it, but it does only dirty the one pot, and it came out really tasty! I’ll call that a win!
Stop me if I’ve already told you this, but I hate sandwiches. Given that they were invented to be the perfect food, in the hundreds of years since their inception sandwiches have fallen so so far. I’m not saying that there aren’t good sandwiches out there, but the median sandwich (I’m looking at you, Subway and Panera) is so limp, soggy (thanks to inexplicably wet lettuce), and imbalanced that it’s made me shy of sandwiches as a group. Except, that is, the subcategory of pressed sandwiches. Pressing and cooking a sandwich seems to elevate it from mediocrity to a real dish. Whether we’re talking grilled cheese, paninis, or cubans, cooking serves to fight sogginess and add a much needed textural crunch, and seems to ward away the dreaded lettuce leaf. Sometimes, as with my Roasted Tomato Basil Soup, even I need a sandwich to dip. This is a good one for just such an occasion.
Tomato soup is as American as apple pie. For me, it is winter days after playing in the snow; a quick lunch on the weekend; the first sign that I was getting over the flu; 30 minutes with my mom in the kitchen, sharing a can on a busy day. As I get older, the canned stuff has started to taste *really* weird to me, but my nostalgia for tomato soup has not changed. Enter: this roasted tomato soup. Bright red with a strong tomato and basil flavor and all the warmth of long roasting in a hot oven. It tastes like what it is, nothing more, and that is plenty.
P.S. Looking for a grilled cheese to go with your soup? Check back on Wednesday!
I’m just going to come out and say it – this is the best recipe I’ve invented so far (and one of the better ones I’ve ever cooked). I’m so pleased with myself! I usually make macaroni and cheese to cover a lot of bases; it cleans out my fridge of leftover cheese bits and vegetables, which reduces food waste and is good for my wallet. It’s also comfort food and can serve a crowd. For all these reasons I’ve made a lot of mac and cheese over the years, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be special! Here the combination of the salty-funky blue cheese, the sour pears, and the crunchy corn flakes really blew my mind. If you don’t believe me, you’d better try it yourself!
Welcome to my first recipe attempt! Through the writing of this blog I hope to learn how to develop my own recipes (and inspire you to try it yourself!) based on my 5 tenets of recipe development.
I decided to start with a simple pasta and tomato sauce for the following reasons:
- I love pasta. A lot. And I make tomato sauce fairly often.
- Pasta is cheap and can be vegetarian or vegan (yay environment!)
- Tomato sauce follows one of my tenets (CONFINE) pretty well – if all you do is pour tomatoes into a pan and add salt, it will probably turn out ok. That’s an excellent foundation for creativity.
- The scariest part of cooking without a recipe is getting to the end and having produced something inedible, or just not great. For that reason, tasting along the way as much as possible will help mitigate some of these risks. Some recipes, such as tomato sauce for pasta, lend themselves to this more than others.