Valentine’s Day. I’ve never given it much thought, nor have I been big on celebrations. Some gifts exchanged, yes. Some fancy dinners had, yes. But this year, I thought it was time to bring out the cheese. You know, since I’m attempting to be a phancy blogger mom & wife and all that.
Since everyone was embracing the theme of red foods, I decided I would cook a reddish meal. (I made this decision at noon.) I did not have much to work with, nor did I have the time to go beyond my neighbourhood grocer and procure produce. (A little alliteration.) (Twice!!)
I had most of the ingredients for cake, plus some whole wheat spaghetti, as well as lovely red bell peppers and lots of tomatoes. I just needed to get some icing sugar to make frosting, some red food colouring for the cake batter, and while I was getting that I saw some strawberry Tang, and thought, hey! pink drink. (I know what you are thinking. But I really didn’t have time to go out and get red wine. And I am not much of a drinker anyway. Kind of contradicts the title of this post. I am being a responsible mom and staying off alcohol till weaning is over! Did I mention that I love strawberry Tang?)
So here was the menu for my Reddish Valentine Dinner.
- Spaghetti with Roasted Bell Pepper Marinara
- Red But Not Quite Velvet Cake
- Strawberry Tang
And you know what? It was quite enjoyable. And my husband was pleasantly surprised and extremely happy. And my 10-month old son slurped up some spaghetti, too. 2 strings, to be exact. Nice enough for me!
SPAGHETTI WITH ROASTED BELL PEPPER MARINARA
- 1 large RED bell pepper
- 2-3 medium tomatoes
- 1 large onion
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4-5 cloves garlic
- 1 teaspoon crushed chilli flakes
- 1 teaspoon oregano flakes (or fresh if you prefer)
- A little basil, fresh or dried
- 1/4 cup tomato puree (optional)
- Salt to taste
- In a small pot, blanch your tomatoes, remove the skin and seeds and set aside.
- Boil the onion (whole) till soft and set aside (Just put the tomatoes and onions in the pot together. Saves time.)
- Roast the red bell pepper over a flame, let cool, and remove the seeds and stem.
- In a blender, zhuzh up (puree) the tomatoes, onion and roasted bell pepper.
- In a pot, pour in the olive oil. When it gets hot, add the garlic cloves and sautee till soft.
- Add in the tomato puree at this point. This is just to add a little bulk to the sauce.
- Next, add your blended paste of tomato-onion-bell pepper.
- Toss in the crushed chilli flakes, oregano, basil and salt to taste.
- Allow to simmer on a medium or low flame for 5-7 minutes.
Spoon over some cooked spaghetti or any other pasta and dinner is ready!
I’ll post the cake tomorrow 🙂 I hope you all shared a happy February 14th with your loved ones.