Thursday, September 10, 2009

Bumper Crop of Tomatoes?

I'll have to admit, I'm running out of energy to can, preserve or even eat tomatoes. I've made everything from Bloody Mary Mix, tomato soup, pizza sauce, marina sauce, and even sun-dried tomatoes. My family has eaten fresh 'maters over pasta, on sandwiches and on pizza... I'm beginning to feel like the Forest Gump of tomatoes! So the other day after coming back from the garden with yet another LARGE bag laden with the ripest, juiciest fruits I though - What now?! Even my family has begun to whine "Again?" So what's a girl to do?

It just so happens, I am an "experimental cooker". I'm not going to say that my cooking doesn't provide some "interesting" or not-to-be-repeated meals, but almost always I come up with a real hum-dinger of a recipe. In fact typically I'll try repeating it, only I have forgotten the "recipe". (Recipe is a vague term since it's really just my throwing in a pinch of this and a dash of that!) Yesterday after bringing yet another bag of tomatoes home though, I began to dream up a new recipe - Maybe it was the Rachel Ray coming out in me, but the first step was to see what pantry staples I had on hand!
I'll admit, this was a fun, easy recipe to put together AND to eat, and yes I did write it down!

Rustic Italian Tomatoes & Beef
1 lb lean ground beef
1 shallot - chopped
6-8 medium tomatoes, cored, quartered and seeded, with the skins on
1/2 green, red or yellow pepper, sliced into small chunks
2 Tbs. Italian "season" mix
2 Tbs. Olive oil
1 Package (cup) instant tomato soup mix

Saute the shallot and beef together until the meat is cooked through, then drain the beef. (I actually drain it then gently blot with a paper towel.) Add the peppers and tomatoes to the pan. (I used yellow and red tomatoes and red and green peppers for lots of color!) next add your olive oil. Mix the cup of soup mix as directed and pour into the pan. Simmer on medium-low in a covered pan until the tomatoes are limp but not mushy.

I served the dish over whole wheat elbow noodles, however this would be great served over bow tie, twists or other "substantially" shaped pasta - It should look like a nice, hearty meal!
Photo by Flickr user Eric Begin.

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