I did inventory of the ‘fridge this morning before doing the weekly shopping and found lots of bits of things that needed using up. Time to make a pasta sauce!
The beauty of Italian cooking is it lends itself to anything and everything. Rustic cooking is really nothing more than cooking what’s on hand at the moment. I did some rustic cooking, today!
I had an eggplant, stalk of broccoli, some cauliflower, a bunch of tomatoes from the yard, most of a green bell pepper, onion, garlic, portobello mushrooms, and some frozen crab meat I had bought a while ago thinking I’d make crab cakes. Well… I didn’t make the crab cakes and the crab was just taking up valuable real estate. Time to eat it up. And the fresh herbs out back are going bonkers. I can’t use them fast enough.
I started off sauteing onion, green pepper, and eggplant.
In another lifetime I would have added the peppers much later, but Nonna needs her vegetables well… overcooked is one way of describing it. We make our sacrifices…
Meanwhile, I had broccoli, cauliflower, peas, garlic, mushrooms… all waiting to be added to the party in the pan.
After the onions and eggplant cooked down quite a bit, I doused the pan with lots of red wine and let it all simmer a bit before adding everything else.
I had a couple small bottles of clam juice – also taking up space – and in they went, as well. I covered the pan, let everything simmer, added some S&P and fresh herbs and then the crab.
It ended up being a cioppino-like stew that went great over cheese and arugula ravioli.
Clean-out-the-‘fridge dinners usually make for a large pot, and this was definitely no exception. I had sauce for 12, easily! The leftover sauce is going into the freezer – something out, something in – and I’m thinking it would be really good in a crepe – crespelle, in Italian – with an Italiany-cheesy sauce over it.
Another meal for another time…
The ‘fridge is cleaned out, the vegetable bins are sparkling, and everything is fresh and ready to go. The freezer actually has room, and the cupboards and basement overflow are getting cleared out, slowly, as well.
Life is good…