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  • Saturday, July 29, 2006

    Easiest-ever pasta sauce recipe

    Last night, my book club had its first book discussion meeting. And of course, we also ate and drank. Smart women, good book, wine, yummy food... what more could you want on a Friday night?

    I was charged with bringing the main dish, and since I had little time to prepare it, I made pasta. And the easiest-ever pasta sauce recipe... that is, if there were a recipe. There isn't. I concocted this little dish one day when I had left-overs in the fridge and a growling stomach. And I've replicated it several times since because it is that yum.

    There is no name for this dish, but here's the basic plan for making it...

    one large onion
    one rasher (package) turkey bacon
    basil pesto
    one can (19 oz.) tomato basil soup
    crushed garlic (approximately 2 teaspoons or to taste)
    one package grape tomatoes (one pint?)

    Heat large saucepan or wok on medium-high with oil. I use garlic oil, but olive oil works too. Chop the onion into medium-sized chunks and fry (I'd say "sautee", but there's no butter here!). Stir frequently. Add the crushed garlic (fresh or from a jar is fine; use a bit less if fresh). Stir.

    Chop up the entire package of bacon so that each piece is about 1/4 inch wide. When the onions have started to wilt, add the bacon to the pan. Stir frequently. Continue frying until the onions are translucent and starting to carmelize. The bacon should also brown and start to crisp. Adjust the heat down if the onions or bacon are starting to burn.

    Once the onions are thoroughly cooked and the bacon is browned, add the entire can of soup. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add two healthy dollops of pesto (approximately 2 tablespoons) and stir. Bring sauce to a simmer. Stir frequently.

    Add entire package of grape tomatoes. Stir and allow the sauce to reduce a bit. Simmer until the tomatoes have cooked. Serve over fusilli or penne pasta. Serves 4-6.

    Note: I recommend turkey bacon because I don't eat pork. But I think pork bacon would be too salty for this sauce. Also, the amounts for the pesto and garlic are approximated because I eyeball the amounts when I make this dish -- so adjust these ingredients for taste. You can make this is a bit fancier by adding cream or sour cream or diced tomatoes, but I like the simplicity of this dish. Yum.

    P.S. The next book we're reading is Thank You for Smoking by Christopher Buckley.

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