Lately, I have sustained myself on a diet of mashed potato soup, pancakes and this pasta (sauce). Oh and sometimes I throw in a Mars bar. You know, for dessert. Never as dinner. That’d just be unhealthy.
This pasta sauce is so easy to make that I can usually have dinner ready in less than a half hour (which includes peeling the tomatoes, cooking pasta and cooking sauce). Probably one of my quickest meals so far here. And it’s darn tasty. I mean darn tasty.
What I think i like most about it is how healthy it is. Just tomatoes, spices/herbs, and a splash each of milk and red wine. And the healthy thing is important to me right now. Too many Mars bars. Too much lazing around the house, laying (or is it lying?) in bed reading books. I have this new friend, Cynthia, who is a fellow American volunteer in my town. She and I have been going on this nice “walks” through the outskirts of town into little villages. I’ve met some really nice people during our walks. On our first walk, we met an incredibly nice woman named Hamidah who is a nurse at the local hospital. Last time we saw her she gave us each a free papaya! A win for community integration!
Fresh Tomato Sauce
6 medium size tomatoes
1 to 1 1/2 cups cooked pasta
1 Tablespoon dried parsley
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
2-4 Tablespoons milk (I use whole milk, as that’s the only kind available to me)
2 Tablespoons red wine
Begin by scoring a large X in the bottom of each tomato. You don’t want to cut too deep, just enough to cut through the skins. Place the tomatoes in a sauce pot and add enough water to cover them. They will probably float in the water, but just push them down and if the water covers them, you’re good to go! Bring the water to a rolling boil and boil the tomatoes for approximately 30 seconds, or until you can see the skins begin to peel back.
Drain the water and, carefully as they will be hot, peel the skins from the tomatoes and remove the cores. After you have de-skinned and de-cored the tomatoes, mash them with a fork (like I do) or blend them in a food processor until you reach your desired consistency.
Transfer the mashed tomatoes to a sauce pot, add the parsley, garlic powder, cumin, black pepper, nutmeg, salt, milk and red wine. Stir to combine and simmer on medium until the sauce thickens. Taste the sauce before serving and add any additional spices, herbs, milk or wine you feel necessary.
Serve over pasta.