Homemade Pesto Sauce

ImageMaking your own Pesto sauce is super easy and quick! Seriously, it takes less time than opening a jar of Ragu and heating it on the stove. All you need is basil, parsley, pine nuts, parmesan cheese, garlic, olive oil and salt. This recipe is from a Better Homes and Garden Italian Cookbook my great aunt gave me when I was little. The pictures in the book are SO 1990’s but the recipes are on point!ImagePlace 1 cup packed basil in your food processor and pulse a few times. We had JUST enough on our basil plants in the garden!ImageAdd 1/2 cup packed parsley (stems removed) and pulse a few more times.ImageToss 1/4 cup of pine nuts in your food processor. Just a heads up, these guys hide out in the baking aisle. Pulse a few times and add 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese, 1 clove of sliced garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 cup of olive oil.ImageYour pesto will look a little something like this. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the food processor and give it a few more pulses to make sure everything is well blended. ImageServe the pesto in a dish in the middle of the table and let everyone serve themselves. A little pesto goes a long way! You might want to drizzle more olive oil over your pasta if you like it slippery. You can store the leftover pesto in an airtight container in the fridge for two days or freeze it for later.

So fresh, so simple, SO delicious.

Garden Fresh Tomato Sauce

ImageMy dad’s garden has been producing approximately a billion tomatoes a day and I needed a way to use as many as possible, aside from a tomato riot in the streets. This was my first time making a pasta sauce from scratch using real tomatoes and it was surprisingly very easy!

ImageAfter you give your tomatoes (we had about 17 that day) a nice bath, you need to blanch them to make them easier to peel. I submerged three tomatoes at a time in boiling water for exactly 1 minute before putting them in a bath of ice water to cool them back down. ImageAfter you blanch all of your tomatoes, peel the skins off of them. It will start to get REALLY messy because you want to remove as much of the seeds and juice from the tomatoes as possible. I cut mine in half and used a spoon to scoop out the seeds and pockets of liquid.

ImagePut your seedless, juiceless, skinless tomatoes into a large pot on medium heat.ImageI chopped half of a green pepper I picked in the garden that day along with half of a yellow onion and almost an entire head of garlic. You can use whatever veggies you love most or have in your fridge. I sauteed them together while the tomatoes were hanging out in their pot.

ImageAdd your cooked veggies to the tomatoes. I also added a couple handfulls of fresh basil. At this point you can add as much or as little salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, italian seasoning as you would like! I don’t like a chunky sauce so I mashed the tomatoes with a wooden spoon, put the lid on, and went to the couch to watch an episode of the Real Housewives of Orange County. ImageDuring a commercial break I checked my sauce, and it looked like this. I mashed at the tomatoes some more, stirred the pot, put the lid on, and went back to my show. ImageOnce my show was over, the sauce looked good and smelled even better. I added one can of tomato paste to thicken it up. After a last second taste test, It was ready to be eaten!ImageMan oh man was it delicious! It tasted SO fresh and healthy. Definitely add another can of tomato paste if you like your sauce to cling to your pasta. I was kind of shocked at how little sauce 17 tomatoes produces. I thought I was going to be eating this batch of sauce for weeks! Thank G there’s another billion tomatoes to be picked tomorrow…THAT’S AMORE!