I imagine a cold winter night, coming home from work hungry, warming up in some sweats in our very cold old bungalo, not wanting to cook but to just snuggle up by the tv and watch several episodes of our favorite shows on Netflix. Soon this dream turns to reality. I hope to make cooking easy this winter and one way to do that is to make things I can store and quickly defrost.
I recently found out that you can freeze slow roasted tomatoes and just throw them in with some hot pasta when you’re ready to eat them. I thought this would be a fun alternative to tomato sauce. Although, I do hope to also can store some tomato sauce for this winter too.
Both pesto and slow roasted tomatoes are super easy to make and store.
For the pesto: Make pesto according to your favorite. Here is my favorite recipe for pesto if you’d like to use it. Then place in ice cube trays or put 3-4 tablespoons into a plastic bag and place in the freezer. If you use ice cube trays, once the pesto is frozen then pop the servings out then put in airtight plastic bags to store long term in the freezer. Once you are ready to use the pesto you can just toss a cube right into hot pasta or orzo, melt over grilled chicken, or mix with steamed vegetables. If you use plastic bags, you can freeze them then simple defrost and cut a corner of the bag and squeeze out the pesto into pasta or vegetables. This is makes weeknight dinners so ridiculously easy!
For the slow roasted tomatoes (which are very similar to sun-dried tomatoes): Cook tomatoes according to the way you like them. I roast mine at 200 degrees for 6-8 hours depending on the slice size of the tomatoes. Before roasting you want to drizzle the slices with olive oil, and season with generous amounts salt, pepper, basil, thyme and oregano. For step by step instructions go to KalynsKitchen or TheLittleRedHouse. Once tomatoes are roasted (they should look shriveled up), you can put them in airtight plastic bags and freeze. These are another great addition for winter pastas.
I have already used one batch of each. I created the simplest dish using whole wheat penne pasta with spinach, pesto and roasted tomatoes, and it was perfectly delicious and easy.