Monday, August 12, 2013

Homemade Roasted Vodka-Marinara Sauce and Zucchini Ribbons for Meatless Monday!


I guess I just keep cooking my way through the summer with my plentiful crops until the time I have to go back to classes, lectures, and books. By then, I will be so busy and have little or no time at all for my cooking and posting. Meh!


Since the tomatoes from my small garden are still ripening and that I’ve been picking them every day. As a result, I have about 5-6 ponds in the baskets over the counter in my kitchen. If I don’t do anything with them now, it might has gone bad really soon. So, I decided to make marinara sauce with a touch of vodka, because pasta is on the menu for dinner tonight.
However, when I told the hubby about “Meatless Monday,” and that we will have zucchini as pasta with no meat. He looked at me and said, “There is no such thing meatless Monday and I think I want real pasta and real meat!” What can I say, he is the meat guy. I guess the “meatless Monday” idea is just for myself, then!

Marinara sauce is very easy to make with either using fresh or can tomato and with or without adding alcohol in it. And roasting tomatoes first is not necessary. But I like the roasted flavor of tomatoes which bring out the true natural sweetness from those gorgeous tomatoes.  

What you need:  for Marinara sauce: makes 3 1/4 cups

3 lbs. Tomatoes
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup yellow onion, chopped
2 tbsps. Olive oil + more for drizzling over the tomatoes 
2 tbsps. Oregano leaves
2 tbsps. Basil leaves
3 oz. vodka
Sea salt, sugar, ground pepper, and dried red chili flakes to taste as needed
1/2 cup water or as needed
a handheld blender or blender or food processor

Zucchini ribbons:

1 medium zucchini – for 1 servings

: Cut use a vegetable peeler to shave zucchini to ribbons
: bring water to a full boil with a pinch of salt, then add zucchini ribbons and turn off the heat immediately. Let the zucchini ribbons sit in the hot boiling water for 1 minute, drain, and set aside.
: the zucchini ribbons can be done after making the sauce

How to:

- Preheat the oven to 400’F and cover the baking sheet with aluminum foil, set aside
- Cut tomatoes in half or quarters, lay them on the baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and bake for 30 minutes
- Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat, add onion and cook until it’s soften, add garlic and cook for a few minutes
- Add roasted tomatoes into the pan, oregano and basil leaves, and season with salt, pepper, sugar, and dried chili as your liking and add 1/2 cup of water (if the sauce gets too thick, put more water as your preferred consistency), and stir to mix well
- Turn the heat to low and use the handheld blender directly into the pot to blend the sauce just for a few time to break up the chunk ingredients. *Please be careful if used a blender or food processor since the sauce will be really hot.
- Add vodka into the sauce and Let it simmer for another 10-15 minutes
- Serve over zucchini noodles or pasta with toasts or however you desired


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