{A Meal to Kick Off A New Year Part III}

Okay, now that we have the main dishes (pasta + sausage) ready to go, it’s time to complete the meal with some homemade pasta sauce and french bread. Because, well, we just like to torture ourselves in the kitchen some days! Both of these recipes are really quite easy to make though they do take a bit of preparation and cooking time–I would make fresh bread every day if I ever remembered to make the dough in the morning!

Let’s start with the sauce first. This was the only dish that we didn’t use the Kitchen Aid for (well, unless you count the sausage), but we did use our immersion blender. Apparently we’re a tad bit obsessed with our fancy kitchen tools. If you’re not quite as overstocked on kitchen gadgets as our kitchen, you can just use your regular ol’ blender. It will work just fine.

To start the sauce, we’re going to roast some veggies, so you’re going to need 5 small roma tomatoes, 1 bell pepper, and a little olive oil. Pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees and place veggies in a baking dish or casserole pan (you’ll want all of the yummy juices that leak out to add in later). Drizzle a little olive oil on top (about 1 tablespoon) and roast for about 10 minutes. Then, using a pair of tongs, carefully turn each of the tomatoes and the bell pepper over and roast for another 10 minutes. You’ll want the skin to be nice and blistered by the time they’re done.

Roasted Veggies

Take the roasted veggies out of the oven. Peel the skins off of each tomato and off of the bell pepper–I used the tongs for this part too since the skin was so hot! When the skin is removed, place the veggies (and their extra juice drippings!) and 1/4 cup of water in a pot and blend. Alternatively, place in the blender and then transfer to a pot.

Add 1 small onion (chopped), 2 cloves garlic, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, 1 tablespoon fresh chopped oregano, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon peppercorns.

Pasta Sauce

Stir to mix and then blend together either with your immersion blender or in that good ol’ regular blender.

Pasta Sauce

When the sauce has cooked down, add 1 ounce of Parmesan cheese and 1 6oz can of tomato pasta. If you want a vegetarian pasta sauce, STOP here.

If not, or you’re being coerced into eating meat like me, you’re going to want to heat up a little olive oil in a large frying pan. When the pan is hot, add the amazingly delicious sausage you made earlier and cook until brown, breaking up into smaller pieces with a spatula.

Finally, add the sauce to the meat and you’re ready to go!

Finished Pasta Sauce

Wait! We have to make the bread first–although, in reality, if your sauce is done and you’re pasta is cooked, its probably a wee bit late to start the bread but let’s just pretend, shall we?

You’ll want to start the bread at least 5 hours ahead of the meal (see what I mean about pretending). Like I said before, it’s really so easy to make that you would think I would do it everyday. Although that might just be feeding fuel to the fire with my carb obsession!

All you need is a few cups of flour, a package of yeast, a little salt, water, and olive oil and you too can make fresh bread! Here’s the recipe.

French Bread

French Bread Recipe:

Make 1 large loaf

Print recipe!

Ingredients:

1 package yeast

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vinegar

1.5 cups water

3.5 cups flour

Steps:

Sprinkle yeast over 100 degree water to rehydrate in a large mixing bowl (or your Kitchen Aid mixer bowl) and let sit for about 10 minutes.

Combine flour, salt, and vinegar in a separate bowl and mix thoroughly.

Slowly add flour mixture to yeast and combine with a mixer, stopping when the dough pulls away from the bowl.

Knead, either by hand or by mixer, about 10-15 minutes by hand or 5-10 minutes by mixer.

Form a ball with the dough and place in a clean bowl with a moist towel covering the bowl.

Let rise until doubled.

When dough is ready, punch down, form into a loaf, and then let rise for another 20 minutes.

Place on baking sheet and bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes.

Enjoy!

Pasta Sauce Recipe:

Print recipe!

Ingredients:

5 small roma tomatoes

1 red bell pepper

1/4 cup water

1 small onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic

2 tablespoons olive oil + more for drizzling

2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped

1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped

1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

1 teaspoon peppercorns, or to taste

1 oz parmesan cheese

1 6oz can tomato paste

Sausage (optional)

Steps:

Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees.

Place tomatoes and bell pepper in large casserole pan. Drizzle a little olive oil on top (about 1 tablespoon) and roast for about 10 minutes. Then, using a pair of tongs, carefully turn each of the tomatoes and the bell pepper over and roast for another 10 minutes. You’ll want the skin to be nice and blistered by the time they’re done.

Take the roasted veggies out of the oven. Peel the skins off of each tomato and off of the bell pepper–I used the tongs for this part too since the skin was so hot! When the skin is removed, place the veggies (and their extra juice drippings!) and 1/4 cup of water in a pot and blend. Alternatively, place in the blender and then transfer to a pot.

Add onion, garlic, olive oil, basil, oregano, salt, and peppercorns. Stir to mix and then blend together either with your immersion blender or transfer to a regular blender.

 When the sauce has cooked down, add 1 ounce of parmesan cheese and 1 6oz can of tomato pasta. If you want a vegetarian pasta sauce, STOP here.If not, or you’re being coerced into eating meat like me, you’re going to want to heat up a little olive oil in a large frying pan. When the pan is hot, add sausage you made earlier and cook until brown, breaking up into smaller pieces with a spatula.Finally, add the sauce to the meat and you’re ready to go!

———

And voila, dinner is served! Now where did I put that glass of wine?

Finished Pasta

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