I hate food shopping. I despise food shopping. I would rather pluck every hair off my left arm one by one than go food shopping. Consequently, I’ve become pretty creative in the kitchen while trying to invent substitutes for the things I really wish I had. (The other option is to challenge my husband to Wii Tennis and bet him a food shopping trip, but even when I win he just puts it off and puts it off until once again I’m trying to make dinner with four pinto beans and a year old can of condensed milk.)
Last week we wanted pasta, but we have no spaghetti sauce or tomatoes. Usually, at that point I fall back on putting the cooked pasta in a pot with some garlic, salt, pepper, olive oil and feta cheese to make a sort of white pasta, but we didn’t have any feta cheese either. What we did have was some potatoes, a white onion and something that looked like it used to be parsley, but the DNA report was inconclusive.
In the end, I made an onion sauce that I have to say turned out pretty well, so here is the recipe for those of you on your last bit of unused food. The amounts were all sort of done on the fly, so don’t necessarily take them as gospel.
Amy’s Last Onion Pasta Sauce
- 1 white onion
- 1 red pepper (I happened to find this in the fridge, I could have easily done it without it, but it made the sauce a nice pink.)
- 1 tablespoon of garlic or 3-4 cloves diced fresh if you have it
- 2 chicken bullion cubes ( or a can of chicken broth )
- 1/4-1/2 cup of buttermilk or milk or cream or nondairy creamer you’ve brought back to life with some water
- Olive Oil
- Pepper, Cayenne Pepper to taste
- Breaded veal cutlets if you like…
- 2 cocktails
Dice up the onion, pepper (and garlic if you have it) and put in a pan with some hot olive oil and cook for a bit until the onions are clear and everything is soft. Add 2 cups of hot water into which you already melted 2 chicken bullion cubes. Shake some garlic powder in the pan if you didn’t already add some fresh garlic. Go out in the other room and have a cocktail while that simmers down for a bit to concentrate the broth. Come back to the kitchen in a bit to find the pan much as it was but with less liquid in it.
Pour that whole pan of broth and onions into a food processor. Strangely, I had some buttermilk on hand from a recipe I’d tried earlier, so I threw a splash of that in there… maybe 1/2 cup. You could probably also use milk, cream, or when I’m really desperate I’ll put coffee creamer in a Tupperware with some water and shake it up really well to create some cream on the fly. This works really well with mashed potatoes when I’m preparing to mash them and suddenly realize we have no milk.
Back to the food processor with all our items in it. As Gordon Ramsay would say: Blitz.
Pour your now liquefied veggies back into the original pan. Add pepper and/or cayenne pepper to taste to make it spicier. Let that simmer for a bit while you put on the pasta and go out to the living room to watch some TV and have another cocktail. Tell your husband who is asking when dinner is going to be ready to shut it and pour him another glass of wine to ensure he actually does.
When the pasta is done drain it and throw your sauce on it. I happen to have some frozen veal around, so I also breaded that (dipped in egg and some of that buttermilk I’m trying so hard to use up, dredged through bread crumbs, garlic powder and pepper) and threw in the pan with some olive oil. It was really thin so it cooked in a couple minutes and then I threw that on the pasta first, followed by the sauce.
Viola! Without the cocktail breaks, the whole thing really would have taken a little over a half an hour, and that was only really the pasta cooking time anyway.
Tasted wonderful but I forgot to take a picture of it for the blog. Damn. Maybe I should have skipped the cocktails.