It’s been a busy week for me, between a crazy week at work and having friends over for dinner a couple times this week, so I haven’t really produced much for the blog. Today, I awoke early to can 30lbs of tomatoes into stewed tomatoes and tomato sauce. I’m always amazed at how a HUGE box of tomatoes cooks down to a much smaller volume of tomato products.
Home canning isn’t really an economical enterprise in the city, given the produce prices and time invested, but I did my first canning projects last year, and using my own stewed tomatoes in soups cannot be beat! Homeade stewed tomatoes have SO much more flavor than what you’d buy in a can. I got 8 quarts of stewed tomatoes and 5 pints of tomato sauce out of the 30lbs of tomatoes. Now, I’m just sitting around waiting to hear the magical popping sound of the cans as they seal – it’s the most nerve-wracking part of the process!
Thursday evening, I was supposed to go out to a movie with friends, but given that my workday started at 6am with the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Kickoff Breakfast, and I didn’t sleep well the night before, I decided that I wasn’t up to movie-going, and needed a night to chill at home. So, I looked around the kitchen to see what I could whip up quickly, and came up with this simple, smoky pasta….it was just the comfort food I needed after a long day. The smoky bacon and cheese played off the acidic tomatoes perfectly. A bowl of pasta and a glass of wine enjoyed on the balcony were just the antidote I needed to unwind after a long day.
Smoky Tomato Pasta
600 calories per serving, 23g fat, 74g carbs
2 slices bacon, chopped, cooked and 1tsp fat reserved
3 oz Tinkyada brown rice pasta shells
1/2 cup sliced white onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 oz grated, Goat Smoked Cheddar Cheese
1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1 tsp fresh thyme, minced
salt & pepper to taste
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the rice pasta according to the directions – Tinkyada can take 12-14 minutes to cook through. While the pasta cooks, assemble the sauce.
- Chop the bacon and saute in a small pan until mostly crisp. Scoop out the bacon and drain on a piece of paper towel an set aside. Pour off most of the fat, but leave 1tsp in the pan.
- Add the onions to the bacon fat and saute for 2-3 minutes until they begin to soften. When the pasta is about 3 minutes from being done, add the garlic to the onions and saute for 1 more minute. Add the thyme and sliced tomatoes, and saute for 1 more minute, until the tomatoes begin to wilt a bit.
- Drain the pasta and fold it into the tomato sauce. Sprinkle with the grated goat cheddar and toss to combine, adjusting seasoning if needed.