When a scout master for Troop 941, a definite emphasis was put on camp out meals and food preparation, as an executive chef it was something that the boys thought was interesting and exciting. One Eagle Scout Greg Jacobs, who is now a student at University of Central Florida, had been reading some of articles on joltleft.com and requested simple pasta dishes that would impress a certain female student? We never had to deal with the subject in Boy Scouts, but the request is valid.
In The Triangle area we host a concentration of many colleges in Raleigh; we have North Carolina State University www.ncsu.edu, William Peace University www.peace.edu and Shaw University www.shawuniversity.edu. In Durham there is Duke University www.duke.edu and Chapel Hill is the home of the University of North Carolina www.northcarolina.edu. These recipes are fast and simple and easy to do on a budget and will help you to impress a certain student, loved one or your frat brothers. I thought of using jarred sauce but feel that we need a homemade sauce that is easy and flavorful to truly impress.
So Easy a College Boy Can Make Marinara
by Joseph V. Fasy
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon fresh garlic minced
1 28 oz. can tomato puree
½ can water
1 14 oz. diced tomatoes
1 Tablespoon fresh basil, may sub dried
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
- Lightly sauté garlic in olive oil
- Add tomato, water and diced tomato
- Season with salt and pepper and simmer for 1 hour
- Add basil last 5 minutes and may be made ahead or double the batch and this freezes extremely well.
Now for pasta selection,let’s not get too fancy I like Vermicelli or Penne but you can also use some of the pre-prepared stuffed pasta such as a spinach tortellini. Good quality pasta is also a must. All pasta is cooked in relatively the same manner, here are some easy to follow guidelines.
- Boil 4 to 6 quarts of water for one pound of dry pasta.
- Add 2 Tablespoons of salt and 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- Add the pasta with a stir and return the water to a boil.
- Stir the pasta occasionally during cooking.
- Follow the package directions for cooking times.
- Taste the pasta to determine if it is done. Perfectly cooked pasta should be “al dente,” or firm to the bite, yet cooked through.
- Drain pasta immediately and follow the rest of the recipe
The best approach to pasta sauce combinations is simple, cut in bite size pieces and complimentary taste. Here is a mix between the classics and non-traditional; sauté 2 cups of these items in a sauté pan and add 2 cup of sauce per 2 people served.
- Italian sausage, corn and black olives
- Grilled chicken breast, artichokes and fresh spinach
- Portabella mushrooms, eggplant and roast peppers
- Bacon or pancetta, onions and yellow grape tomato
- Prosciutto, green peas and button mushrooms
- Albacore tuna, capers and kalamata olives
- Fresh shrimp, mussels and clams
Remember to finish the meal and serve with fresh grated parmesan, a nice salad with some beautiful tomatoes and sparkling water, on real plates please. Garlic bread, which you have a myriad of choices in the freezer aisle would round out the meal. Oh sure go ahead and use a good quality jarred sauce if pressed for time or talent.