Monday, 24 January 2011

Attack of the Kitchen Crusader Part One: Roast Tomato Pasta

Who is this Kitchen Crusader? you ask yourself.
Where does she get off imposing herself all over and up in Karyn's blog on Kitchens (that's what it's about right?)?
Why does she talk about herself in the third person?
Why is this an "attack"? That sounds dangerous and I didn't bring my mace spray.
Is she actually made out of a kitchen and goes on crusades, or does she go on crusades for kitchens (whose opinions don't really get listened to very often, when you think about it)?
What am I going to make for dinner tonight?

Hey! What's with all the questions, blog reader?
Also, boy do you jump from thought to though mighty fast. Maybe you should get that checked. It might be a sign of anaphylaxis or something else serious and medical that I know the name of, like hypothermia.
That's right, blog reading friend, I, The Kitchen Crusader, know stuff about medical conditions and other things of great intellectual wordiness. Logically, you should therefore trust everything I say and try every recipe I produce. Logic doesn't lie.

As a side note, I might be able to help you with that question about what you can make for dinner tonight. Good food doesn't have to be fancy or expensive or time consuming. Because some of us have jobs and some of us have after-work sport and some of us have mortgages and some of us have electricity bills to pay and some of us don't have foie gras or essence of Amazonian mung bean in our fridges on a regular basis and some of us have boyfriends who bother us by wanting to take us out dates and get involved in other, trivial, girlfriend duties (and some of us don't know how to use full stops or commas either, apparently). And some of us, have all of these things. Incidentally enough, I have all of those things. I know, I'm a martyr. But really, hold your applause, I can't hear you, your monitor is in the way. And even if you don't have the incredible level of time/monetary/lack of food-fanciness commitments I have surely you believe cooking should be simple and fun, rather than painful and long-winded.

It can be hard to know what to do with some of the random stuff in your fridge, or you might have something that simply has to be consumed or used TODAY or it might actually consume you. No really.
That's where I come in, see I am a culinary action hero. Most superheroes have massive muscles and save people from burning buildings and natural disasters.
I save people from culinary catastrophes and desperation.
Examples of culinary catastrophes and desperation that I may or may not have saved people from to justify my argument:

See, super hero, I'm similar to those "saving people from burning buildings guys" but in an entirely different kind of way.
Also: if you just turned to the person sitting next to you, or near you, or if you just emailed someone and said, gee this Kitchen Crusader is lazy, she just used the same image four times and changed the words in it, then grab some empathy, Bucko, have you ever tried to make barely-decent-cartoons-in-microsoft-paint-on-a-lap-top-without-a-mouse? If you had, maybe you wouldn't be so judgmental. Also, I have a bruise on my knee, how do you feel now? You just judged an injured person. Also, sorry about the hyphens just then, they got a bit out of hand.

Anyway, onto that dinner idea I was talking about earlier.

This little, simple, super tasty roasted tomato pasta has been a favourite of mine for a while now. It requires very little preparation time and while the tomatoes are roasting you can do whatever else you want (as long as you're still in the house) because they don't need CONSTANT VIGILANCE and ATTENTION. This is the recipe I bust out when I have a stack of tomatoes that need to be used right then and there (or all they'll be good for is the bin). Also, it can be made out of little more than a tin of tomatoes. Consequently it's a massively cheap recipe, but still tastes like something special. Great for a cheap meal when people come over, or when your pantry is practically bare. Seriously, try this. I know you'll enjoy it and what have you got to lose? A can of tomatoes? Oh my.

Roasted Tomato Pasta
Serves 2
You need:
4-6 fresh tomatoes or 1 can of diced tomatoes
2 tbsp of olive oil, or butter, plus some extra olive oil for drizzling
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 tsp sugar
Salt and pepper for seasoning
300g pasta of your choice
Grated parmesan to serve
Optional extras (add any or all of the following to change things up a bit)
¼ cup of kalamata olives – chopped or whole (stir through right before serving)
4 shredded basil leaves (sprinkled over the top of the pasta when served)
Some slices of mozzarella, bocconcini or crumbled fetta ( mixed through just before serving)
1 small red capsicum, cut into small pieces (and roasted with the tomatoes)
Preheat the oven to 200C.
Chop the tomatoes into chunks of about 2 cm x 2cm. Chuck them into a small baking dish (they need to be on top of each other, rather than spaced out) with the garlic, sugar, a good pinch of salt and some cracked pepper.
Roast the tomatoes in the oven for 30 minutes. The edges of the tomatoes should be quite brown, the roasting will have a carmelising effect. Turn the oven off, but leave the tomatoes in the oven, while you cook the pasta.
Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the packet. Drain it, then stir all the contents from the tomato roasting dish through.
Serve up, drizzle a little olive oil over the top, then grate parmesan over the top.

And, incidentally, if for some bizarre reason you want to read more of this inane babble and see some more diabolically bad Microsoft paint skills... and maybe get some recipes, check out my blog.

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