Saturday, February 7, 2009

Comfort Food on Cold Evening

The past two nights we have enjoyed a Baked Penne With Marinara, a recipe that Laura at (no so) Urban Hennery shared recently. She has the recipe at that link to her blog. Simple, but very delicious. She talks about cooking the sausage, onion and garlic until the aroma makes your mouth water. For me, the mouth-watering aroma came while the whole thing was cooking in the oven. It was simply a wonderful smell. Unfortunately, reheating it in the microwave doesn't give you the same experience. But, the taste is still great the second day. This recipe makes a large amount, so keep that in mind if you try it. I decided to go ahead with the whole thing so we could have it two nights and then also have a fair amount to put in the freezer for an evening when we don't have much time. One thing about this recipe that was new for me was adding pesto to the marinara sauce. I have always treated those as two separate ways to cover pasta. But, I would like to try the combined version again in other uses. It added a lovely flavor to the tomatoes, onions and garlic. I was lucky to have both tomato sauce and pesto in the freezer from last summer, so it was a partially local meal.

It was great as is, but, as I'm writing about it, I was thinking that it could also be nice to add mushrooms to the marinara. This time of year, mushrooms are one of the fairly readily available local items we can get here.


Anonymous said...

That looks so bubbly and delicious :-) I never thought of combining marinara and pesto either, although I have combined cottage cheese with marinara in pasta dishes before. How did the flavors work together?

Joan said...

The flavors worked very well together. Not surprising, I guess, since I often put fresh basil in marinara. This is just an easier way to do it when fresh basil is not available, I guess.

Laura said...

So glad you enjoyed it! Using pesto is my trick for getting basil in during the off season. Dried basil is crap and since I can plain tomato sauce I don't have the advantage of adding the basil in the summer.

The pesto trick works for regular red sauces, lasagna, etc just the same way.

Mushrooms are a fab idea - I'll have to do that the next time.