This little bit of serendipity in the kitchen really falls into the “Why didn’t I think of this earlier?” category.
I have a fabulous recipe for spaghetti sauce that a neighbor gave me many years ago, and it has been my “go to” spaghetti sauce recipe ever since. It is thick and rich and the blend of spices is just right for us, not only with spaghetti but also in my homemade lasagna recipe. Fearing that I would mess it up if I ever strayed from the original recipe, I never attempted any variations of it whatsoever, until yesterday.
In thinking about some nice, easy meals for the summer months, I have decided to prepare a pasta dish for us one night each week during the summer. We don’t actually eat pasta all that often, mainly because we are quite spoiled to this great homemade sauce, and I don’t always have the time or the ingredients on hand to make it, even though it is easy to prepare. It just needs two or three hours to simmer on the stove for the best result. Fortunately, I made a big batch of sauce last month and put half of it in the freezer, which made last night’s dinner quick and easy to prepare. The basic sauce freezes well and is easily defrosted in the microwave using the automatic defrost setting.
I was feeling especially brave yesterday, so after I defrosted the sauce, I added about a quarter cup of heavy cream to it while it was still cold. A little cream goes a long way, so it didn’t take much. I had the cream and needed to find a way to use up the little dab that was left over from making homemade ice cream a few days ago. I mixed the sauce and the cream well and just warmed it on the stove until we were ready to eat. I plated the penne pasta first, then topped it with a mix of sautéed mushrooms, sun-ripened tomatoes and a few canned artichoke hearts. Finally, I topped it all off with a generous portion of the sauce, some freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and a side of Texas garlic toast. I even tossed a few pine nuts on top of mine, too.
Oh my, was this ever good! It was definitely a hit! I’m sorry that I didn’t take a picture of the plated dish. We ate it too quickly. Of course, anything with Parmigiano Reggiano cheese is good. It is the best cheese ever. This dish was just over the top with this great, rich sauce on it.
After dinner, I searched online to see if anyone else ever gave this sauce a try, and sure enough, I believe it actually has a name – Rosa Sauce – since it is a slight reddish-pink color after adding the cream. Some people also mix marinara sauce with alfredo sauce for a similar sauce, I believe. I think I could definitely live with that combination, too.
Not every little adventure in the kitchen turns out this good, but I’m happy to say that this one most definitely did!