Spaghetti Recipe

Simple spaghetti sauce. If you love the taste of real food but your hectic schedule leads you all too often to eating fast food for your main meal, here's a clever alternative. How about serving spaghetti for dinner with a sauce made from fresh tomatoes? Don't stop reading...chances are you have some over ripe tomatoes on your counter since you either haven't been eating at home or your dinners of recent have been the "pick up on the way home variety".  If you have 4 to 6 ripe tomatoes, some onion and pasta of your choice, you are about 30 minutes away from this simple flavorful dinner. I know,...I know...since when would you have 6 tomatoes hanging around? I'll share this bit of advice with you.
 The next time that your tomatoes stay on the counter too long, instead of throwing them away, or in the compost, simply core the over ripe tomato and place in the freezer. The next day or later that evening when the tomato has frozen, place the tomato in a freezer bag large enough to hold several tomatoes. When frozen singly in this manner, tomatoes are easy to remove from the bag as needed. Simply rise the tomato under warm water and the skin will slide off. There's a plethora of delicious quick sauces that you can make easily from a peeled tomato. So, don't hesitate to include a couple of tomatoes when you pick up your groceries. If you don't manage to eat them when they're fresh, just know that you are on your way to having ingredients for a great pasta or marinara sauce when you freeze them. Read on after the jump for this one. This recipe was inspired by the folks at 100 days of real food and the photo is courtesy of the Steamy Kitchen.


Recipe is for 4 adult servings*** .................... Cut this recipe in half for 2 adult servings
1/3 cup olive oil
1 cooking onion
1/4 lb or about 4 oz. of proscuitto or pancetta*
pinch of red pepper flakes
10-12 ripe tomatoes
pasta of your choice about 1/2 lb,
Parmesan cheese
basil leaves for garnish(optional)

These instructions are for using fresh tomatoes that have not been frozen. See my notes below if using a frozen fresh tomato.
 Set a large pot of water over high heat. When the water starts to boil, core your tomatoes and place in the hot water, 2 or 3 at a time. Leave them immersed in the boiling water for a minute or so. Remove with a slotted spoon and let them cool on the cutting board or in a large bowl.You can do this fairly quickly as the idea here is to loosen and remove the skins of the tomato. If you have heated the tomatoes enough, the skins should slide off fairly easily. If they're not, put the tomato back in hot the water briefly. Next, squeeze the cooled tomato gently over a bowl to remove the seeds.  Discard as many seeds as you can and chop the meaty part of the tomato coarsely for the sauce.
It's not imperative to remove ALL of the seeds, a few left behind are just fine. Keep your large pot of boiling water to cook the pasta in. In the meantime...
Heat up the olive oil in a skillet. Saute the onion, diced proscuitto* and dried chili flakes for 3-4 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes. Cook and mash the tomato mixture with the back of a wooden spoon or a potato masher and cook until thickened- about 10 minutes.**
Cook your pasta while the sauce is simmering.
Serve the sauce over well drained pasta. Top with  grated Parmesan  and some chopped fresh herbs... fresh basil, or cilantro. A simple and very quick Real Food meal. Enjoy!!

* feel free to substitute chopped, cooked chicken if that's what you have. Shrimp or scallops could work here as well, but I would cook them separately in a small saucepan. Add them only after the sauce is almost ready to avoid overcooking them.
**If you are using frozen tomatoes to make your sauce, simply hold the frozen tomato under warm running water and as it thaws, the skins will pull off, thus omitting the need to plunge them in a pot of boiling water. Do NOT put them in boiling water as they will simply disintegrate. Place the thawing, skinned tomatoes in a colander to drain,squeeze out as many seeds as you can. The frozen tomato will have more water in it so your sauce will need to be cooked a little longer to thicken, but the flavor of the fresh tomato still remains.
*** Feel free to cut this recipe in half for a quick meal for 2 people.

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