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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Veggie Scraps Pasta Sauce

Basically Free Pasta Sauce
Making Something From Nothing
You can eat that?

I just couldn't decide what to call this post. 

The very last thing I did with my week of roasted vegetables was to make a sauce out of the scraps. In An Everlasting Meal, she calls it a pesto, but I didn't think it was quite tangy enough to fit the connotation of a pesto.

It is indeed a delicious sauce, and it is indeed made from scraps. The parts of the vegetable that I have always thrown away became the basis for this sauce, and therefore the inspiration for dinner. 

As I prepped my vegetables, I kept aside those things I ordinarily toss in the compost bin. The leaves from the broccoli and cauliflower, the cauliflower core, the tough ends of the broccoli stalks, the chard stems, and the tiny little cores from the brussels sprouts all went into my cooking pot.

I chopped everything into smallish cubes and put them in a pot, just barely covered with water. To that, I added a few whole garlic cloves and a tiny little bit of salt.

Bring it to just under a boil, and let it simmer a good long time, until everything is tender enough to easily smash with a fork. This takes a good half hour at least, so it is a good thing to do while you are cooking something else. I let this pot simmer the same evening I was making the risotto. The cooked veggies will then keep in the fridge another couple of days, so you can be making two dinners at once!

Once everything is cooked through, puree it all in a blender with a good dose of olive oil and a handful of parmesan cheese. If it needs more water, pour it in a quarter cup at a time, and keep it pureeing until it is a nice, thick, pale-green sauce. Season it with salt and pepper and whirl it one more time.

That's it!

Serve it over pasta, and wait for comments like I got:

"Mom, I usually don't like tortellini at all, but this is really good!"


"Yum! Can I have seconds?"

That, my friends, is turning trash into a treasure.


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