Tag Archives: basil

Spice Mix: Herb Bouquet

Herb Bouquet

spice mix

Make this herb & spice mix and use in soup and vegetable recipes.

Want to liven up your soup or vegetables? Add a teaspoon of herb bouquet with your recipe and simmer a bit to release the flavors. I’ve mixed this up and given it as gifts, used it at home and in our classes. You can change the mixture to make it hotter; you also can eliminate the salt or add less or more sweetener to appease your taste buds. Continue reading

Home-made Basil and Garlic Spaghetti Sauce

picture of tomatoes and pasta

There is nothing better than making sauce with fresh ripe tomatoes right off the vine

It is so convenient to open a can of spaghetti sauce, tomato paste, diced tomatoes or stewed tomatoes that making tomato sauce from scratch is a dying art. But if you can get tomatoes right out of the garden to make your own sauce, you will be surprised how rich the taste and texture is.

If you can’t grow your own tomatoes, we suggest buying a full case from a restaurant supplier to save money. They are usually packed in 5 pound cases and the cost ranges from $7 to $9. Invite friends to help make a big batch and split it between the group

Before using fresh tomatoes for sauce, you will want to remove the skin so it doesn’t float around in the sauce. To remove the tomato skin:

  1. Thoroughly wash and rinse the tomatoes.
  2. Cut an X in the bottom of each tomato.
  3. Get a pot of water boiling on the stove and another container of water with ice nearby.
  4. Lower a few tomatoes into boiling water and scald them until the skin starts to peel around the X (about 15 seconds.)
  5. Remove each tomato with a slotted spoon and immediately transfer to the ice water.
  6. Peel the softened  skin with fingers or a knife. Repeat with remaining tomatoes.

Now you are ready to make a sauce of your choice. Here is a recipe for spaghetti sauce but with different spices and herbs you could make a curry or Creole sauce.

Home-made Basil and Garlic Spaghetti Sauce
A thick sauce for decorative pasta.
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Ingredients
  1. 2 T olive oil
  2. 4 cl garlic minced
  3. 1 medium onion chopped
  4. 1 T dry basil
  5. 3 C tomatoes chopped with skin removed
  6. pinch of salt and pepper
  7. (optional) ¼ C water 3 T agar
Instructions
  1. 1. Heat oil in a pot and sauté onion and garlic until translucent. (3-5 min.)
  2. 2. Add tomatoes and basil
  3. 3. Bring to a slow boil, then lower heat to simmer on low for at least 30 min ‘til thickened.
  4. 4. Blend with a fork or blender for desired consistency.
Notes
  1. For a thicker sauce, mix agar with cold water, add to sauce stirring constantly and simmer until thick. Do Not bring it to a full boil.
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