Food Mill


“You say chunky, I say smooth.”  Some people love a smooth tomato sauce others like it chunky. In my April 20th cooking class we made a smooth tomato sauce by using a food mill.

First we sautéed onions and garlic then added seasonings followed by tomato paste, working it in with the back of a wooden spoon, which brings out the flavor of the paste.  Then we added the fresh and canned tomatoes.  Simmered the sauce for about 30 minutes then put the whole contents of the skillet through a food mill, leaving the skins and the seeds of the tomatoes behind.

Apple sauce is another great use for the food mill.  Don’t peel the apples, just leave out the seeds and the stem.  After the apples are cooked and you mill them,  the skins will be left  behind and your sauce will be vibrant with color and more flavor and vitamins from being cooked with the skins.

Penne Arrabiata ©Karen Lee 2013

 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

4 cloves garlic, sliced

¼ cup diced onions

2 tablespoons diced shallots

½ cup diced leeks (white and light green parts)

1/16 teaspoon cayenne (more if you like spicy)

½ teaspoon sugar

½ teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon salt

1 or 2 jalapeno peppers (seeds and membrane removed), and diced (use rubber gloves)

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 pound fresh tomatoes, diced

28-oz can whole peeled tomatoes with liquid (remove basil from can if any); use hands to squeeze and crush into large chunks

1 pound Penne

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons olive oil to drizzle on pasta before serving

1 teaspoon chili oil (optional)

Heat oil, add garlic, sauté for 2 minutes over low to medium heat.  Add onion, shallots, leeks; sauté for an additional 4 minutes or until the onions just  begin to take on color.  Add cayenne, sugar, oregano and salt; sauté another 2 minutes to bring out the flavor.  Add jalapenos; sauté 1 minute.  Add the tomato paste; let sizzle in pan for two minutes.  Add the diced fresh tomatoes and the canned tomatoes with their juice; simmer for 30-40 minutes or until the sauce separates.

Cook pasta for half the time the package directs and then taste.  Make it al dente.  Drain then add to sauce to coat.  Turn off heat and toss using two wooden spoons.  Place on a serving platter and add the parmesan cheese.  Toss again then drizzle with finishing oil and optional chili oil.  Garnish with whole sprigs of parsley or basil leaves.







2 comments… add one
  • Sarah Williams May 12, 2013, 7:00 pm

    Karen, this penne veggie dish sounds marvelous! I’m having a dinner party for @ 16 Friday, May 24 and wanted to do something vegetarian. I’ll worry, though, about last minute preparations. Do you think I could do this dish for 16 — or is there another vegetarian suggestion that is more “make ahead.” Or — can you tell me how to graciously and confidently (like you) pull this recipe off?

    • Karen Lee May 12, 2013, 7:53 pm

      Dear Sarah,

      I would make this pasta for 16 guests. You can do it easily.
      Triple the recipe. Make the sauce in a wide skillet at least 14 inch skillet or use 2 smaller ones, ( 10 to 12 inch) I do not want the sauce to be to thick in the pan.
      You can make the sauce early in the day or even the day before.

      Just boil one pound of pasta at a time. Undercook the pasta to allow for carry over cooking time. You will need 2 pounds of pasta. Lift pasta out of the water into a pasta bowl or large platter with a lip. Toss with half the sauce, then add the olive oil then the parmesan cheese then garish with parsley or basil. Repeat with second half of pasta. if you are having a buffet then put out the first pound of pasta with sauce and by the time the guests have finished serving themselves, the second pound will be ready.
      Serve with a salad . Have one of your guests toss the salad while you are finishing off the pasta. Email me again if you have more questions.


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