Simple Sun Dried Tomato Pasta

sundried tomato pasta recipe

You are in for a treat today! I am so pleased to be welcoming the amazing Linda from The Organic Kitchen today! Not only are her recipes out of this world, but her food photography is drool-worthy too. I can’t wait to make this simple pasta with some of my home-dried tomatoes!

Hello I am Linda Spiker from The Organic Kitchen. I am thrilled to be guest posting for Jill here at The Prairie Homestead! I love a simple meal, especially when it’s delicious and easy on the wallet. And if it can be made in less than fifteen minutes well, what’s not to like?

This is The Organic Kitchen Sun Dried Tomato Pasta. It’s rich, savory and filling, and light because it contains no meat…but honestly, it’s so savory no one will miss the meat!

When making a meal that has so few ingredients I always recommend that those ingredients are very high quality. I use an organic extra virgin olive oil, just picked basil from my herb garden, fresh garlic, organic sun dried tomatoes, freshly grated Parmesan and a good quality sea salt!

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While my pasta cooks, I whip all these gorgeous ingredients together in a food processor…

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…and voila! A fresh and delicious sun dried tomato pesto pasta sauce!

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Always reserve a little pasta water for thinning…

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Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Pasta

Ingredients:

  • 16 ounces pasta (any you like, we use Farfalle, cook according to package instructions)
  • 1 (8.5-ounce) jar sun-dried tomatoes packed in olive oil (or make your own dried tomatoes!)
  • 1-2 garlic cloves (depending on how much of a garlic lover you are)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup (packed) fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1 T extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup roasted pine nuts
  • 1/4 reserved pasta water

Directions

Cook the pasta according to package directions and reserve ¼ cup pasta water before straining in colander.… [Continue Reading]

Easy Homemade Pizza Calzones

calzone recipe

I’m going to show my ignorance here…

But how exactly do you pronounce the word calzone?

Is it cal-ZONE?

Or cal-zonie?

Or cal-zon-eh?

As you can see we don’t have much culture out here on the Wyoming prairie…

Well thankfully, I’m not doing a calzone video, so I don’t have to sound like an idiot if I am indeed pronouncing it wrong. ;)

But regardless of how you say the word, this calzone recipe is darn good. 

Fridays are usually pizza night at our house, and when we get tired of pizza, we mix it up by making calzones instead.

Pretty wild and crazy, huh?

Calzones are one of those things that make people ooh-and-ahh, but in reality are pretty simple to make at home. Your family will love you forever when you whip a batch of these.

how to make calzones

Easy Calzone Recipe

  • One batch of homemade pizza dough
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese (here’s how to make your own mozzarella cheese at home)
  • Toppings of your choice– I usually use around 3/4 cup of toppings per calzone (My personal favorite is sausage crumbles with sliced mushrooms, but any pizza-style toppings will do: pepperoni, olives, peppers, pineapple, veggies, etc!)
  • 1-2 cups of marinara sauce (for dipping)

Instructions:

easy calzone recipe

Mix up the pizza dough and allow it to rise for one hour.

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After the rising period, punch it down and divide into four equal lumps.

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Roll each lump into a circular shape–roughly 8″ in diameter (they don’t have to be perfect– you can see how sloppy mine are!)

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Place the toppings of your choice on half of the dough circle (you’ll be folding the other half over the top to create the pocket)

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Sprinkle liberally with mozzarella cheese…

calzone recipe

Fold the top half of the circle over the toppings to create a pocket. If the two halves don’t line up perfectly, it’s OK– simply stretch/adjust the dough until you can crimp the edges to seal up the calzone.… [Continue Reading]

Simple Homemade “Sun-Dried ” Tomatoes

homemade sun-dried tomatoes

They’re finicky little buggers…

…tomatoes, that is.

It’s near impossible to predict which years will result in bumper crops, and which years will be complete flops… And let me tell you, I’ve definitely had both! (I’m hoping this year’s deep-mulch method will improve my odds!)

My tomatoes usually like to stay green and rock-hard until late September–right up until the first freeze. The plants must get some sort of evil enjoyment from watching me frantically strip the vines on the crisp autumn afternoon before the first frost is predicted. It’s pretty common for me to have boxes upon boxes of green tomatoes sitting in my house as I wait for them to finally ripen.

Because of that, I usually cave and buy boxes of tomatoes from my farmer’s market to satisfy my summer tomato craving, and making simple sun-dried tomatoes is one of my favorite ways to preserve them for later.

I especially like making sun-dried tomatoes when I don’t have enough ‘maters to justify breaking out the canning equipment to make sauce. Some sun-dried tomato tutorials add a lot of extra steps, but I like to keep my method simple and quick.

Two Caveats to This Post

1) I know, I know… I call ‘em “sun-dried” tomatoes, but you don’t really need the sun to dry them. Although I suppose you could stick them in your car on a hot, sunny day if you wanted too. But, the dehydrator is much simpler.

2) I bought these ‘maters from Bountiful Baskets, I didn’t grow them… My tomato plants hardly even have flowers on them yet, so if you were starting to feel bad about not having homegrown tomatoes yet, please don’t. ;)

how to make sun-dried tomatoes

Simple Homemade Sun-Dried Tomatoes

You Will Need: 

  • Firm tomatoes (I prefer to use paste-type tomatoes for this (like Romas), but really, any tomato will work)
  • Dried basil or oregano (optional)
  • Dehydrator

Instructions:

easy sun-dried tomatoes

Wash the tomatoes, cut off the tops, and slice them into roughly 1/4″ slices (you can totally eyeball this–no need to measure).… [Continue Reading]

Easy Homemade Frozen Yogurt

frozen yogurt recipe

(This post contains affiliate links)

There is a dangerous appliance lurking in my kitchen.

It’s not the serrated knives. Or the super-sharp food processor blade. Or the pressure canner.

It’s this dude:

ice cream makerDon’t let the rounded edges and sleep appearance fool you. This little machine is responsible for more losses of willpower than any other item in the entire kitchen.

It makes whipping up a batch of  homemade ice cream WAY TOO EASY.

If I wanted to make ice cream in the past, I had to make sure I had plenty of ice (which I never did), and also plenty of salt (which I never did). Inconvenient? Yes, but at least it kept the ice-cream eating at a minimum.

But not any more. Now I’m only 25 minutes away from ice cream at any moment in time. And that, my friends, is highly dangerous.

I also recently discovered that it makes knock-your-socks-off frozen yogurt.

how to make frozen yogurt

So, like any rational person would do, I proceeded to make three separate batches in a 48 hour period.

All for the sake of the blog. Of course.

Frozen yogurt is not only the perfect summer-time treat, but it is also packed-full of probiotic goodness. So you can feel a little bit better about those frequent batches…

And because I love you guys, I’ve included recipes for all three variations of frozen yogurt in today’s post. You’re welcome.

homemade chocolate frozen yogurt

Chocolate Frozen Yogurt Recipe

Use a stand blender or an immersion blender to combine all four ingredients until the sugar and cocoa is thoroughly dissolved.… [Continue Reading]