Have you seen those dishes that seem very simple at first sight, but as soon as you take that first bite, it’s like an explosion of amazing flavours in your mouth? I guess you should never judge a book by its cover, right? Anyhow, I love those packed-with-flavour-but-ordinary-looking dishes. What can I say? I like surprises.
Well, this is exactly what this recipe is all about. It is very simple to make and very ordinary-looking but you will definitely be pleasantly surprised by how tasty this is. Let’s get started!
(Makes enough deliciousness for 4 people)
2 cup of fusilli
3 tomatoes, peeled and seeded
½ of a medium white onion
1 clove of garlic, lightly smashed
3 tablespoons of olive oil
140g of goat cheese
2 cups of broccoli, blanched
Salt and pepper, to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
2. Place tomatoes, onion and garlic on a baking tray with parchment paper. Pop them in the oven for approximately 20 minutes or until they are nicely roasted.
3. Cook fusilli according to the instructions on the box. Drain.
4. Place the roasted tomatoes, onion and garlic in the blender. Blend until you get a smooth puree. Allow it to cool for 15 minutes.
5. In a large pot and over low heat, start creaming the goat cheese with a wooden spoon. Add the pureed tomato and keep stirring until you get a creamy, rose-looking sauce. Season with salt and pepper.
6. Add pasta. Toss perfectly but gently.
7. Remove from heat. Add broccoli.
8. Give everything a quick toss. Cover. Let it sit for 5 minutes.
9. Serve hot. Enjoy!
- Make sure you make the sauce over very low heat so that the goat cheese does not curdle on you.
- Some parmesan cheese shavings are a great garnish for this dish.
- If you tomatoes didn’t turn out to be as sweet as you expected them to be, add a teaspoon of sugar to the tomato puree.
“What on earth is blanching?”, you may be asking yourself. Well, blanching is the best thing ever. Let me explain. When I was little, I hated eating vegetables with a passion. I would rather eat dirt than broccoli. There was simply no logical way to get me to eat a single vegetable. I think the reason why I despised vegetables so much was that they looked absolutely disgusting. Sorry, mom!
Blanching is a cooking technique that will help you bring out vegetables’ natural beauty. You can then use them in salads, pastas, sides, soups etc. You can also freeze them. The possibilities are simply endless when you have handsome vegetables. Let’s get blanching, shall we?
You will need a big pot of boiling water, a slotted spoon and a big bowl of ice-cold water. Add your lovely vegetables to the pot of boiling water. Let them have a good time in there until they turn bright in colour. Once that happens, try one. It should be firm to the bite – not mushy or too crunchy. Take them out of the boiling water with the slotted spoon and place them right away in the icy water. Leave them in there for a few minutes. Fish them out and place them on paper towels to dry a little. From there, the food world is yours to conquer, my friend. Put them in ziplock bags if you’re planning on freezing them.
Easy, right? You can blanch pretty much any vegetable. It does work best on green veggies, though. However, don’t be scared to blanch carrots, corn kernels, pearl onions, etc. You can also blanch herbs. Fresh mint for mojitos, anyone?
When I was first introduced to this technique, I fell in love with it. Not only that, but I fell in love with vegetables all over again. I’m sure you will too.
At one point or another in our lives, we’ve all been told to eat our veggies or to eat more veggies. In fact, there are times when it is us doing the nagging. Yes, I’m talking about you. Yes, you! It’s ok. We’re all friends here. No need to be shy.
The point is that we all know veggies are good for us and we should be eating more of them. “But, how do I accomplish such taunting task?”, you may ask. Look no further. I have exactly what you need: a fabulous, yet simple recipe to make delicious tomato rice. That’s right. Tomato. Rice.
My grandma passed this recipe down to me many years ago but I still make it at least once a week – especially during tomato season. She made this tomato rice quite often when I was a kid too. I think this was her way to hide vegetable in our food. I guess grannies are simply smart like that.
(Good for 4 people or 3 very hungry peeps)
¼ medium white onion
1 clove of garlic, peeled
1 ½ tablespoon of oil, preferably canola
1 cup white rice, long grain
2 ½ cups of chicken or vegetable stock
¾ cup of mixed frozen vegetables
Salt and pepper, to taste
1. Put tomatoes, onion and garlic in blender and blend away until you get a very smooth puree.
2. In a large pot, add the oil. Once the oil is hot enough, add the rice. Stir constantly until the rice turns light brown and smells nutty.
3. Add the tomato puree and the chicken or vegetable stock to the rice. Adjust seasoning. Cover with a lid and let it simmer for 5 minutes.
4. Add mixed veggies. Cover and let it cook for 10 minutes without removing the lid at all.
5. Remove from heat and let it sit covered for another 10 minutes.
6. Fluff with a fork. Serve hot and enjoy.
- If you don’t like tomato skins like me, you can pass the tomato puree through a strainer to remove them.
- You can add fresh veggies to this but frozen works best. That way they don’t end up being overcooked.
- You can add some of the chicken or vegetable stock when pureeing if the blender is not cooperating.
Bon appetit and keep on eating those veggies!