I’ve written time and again about my brother and how he has played – and continues to play – an integral part of my blogging. If it wasn’t for him I’m sure I wouldn’t have started cooking and baking gluten-free and dairy-free, and much less thought of starting a food blog. So when he asked me if he could guest post here and share a recipe, the answer was of course! Please give a warm welcome to my little brother who is sharing an easy, basic recipe for tomato sauce served with rice vermicelli.
He was inspired to make this after seeing a recipe for spaghetti with tomato sauce in The Silver Spoon for Children – a delightful cookbook, by the way, with charming illustrations – which, after looking at the recipe, seems to be a basic tomato sauce, if not a staple, in Italian cooking with olive oil and garlic, sometimes with the addition of fresh basil, since there is a similar recipe in another Italian cookbook, The Top One Hundred Pasta Sauces and our family’s been making this sauce for years.
After some debate on how to put together this post, we decided upon a comic strip format and to present it in a slideshow. We both hope you enjoy it.
Here are some strips from the slideshow for a little peek if you’re reading this in your email or RSS feed. Click after the jump to see the slideshow and recipe.
Now, handing it over to my brother—
Rice Vermicelli with Tomato Sauce
My brother wrote these instructions, with some help from me (grammar, punctuation, verification of cooking terms), although most of it is his. From my brother: If you have leftover sauce, it’s great heated up the next day and eaten on its own like a soup.
2 tsp. olive oil (optional, if using garlic powder)
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped finely or 1/2 tsp. garlic powder, plus extra to taste
1 (28-fluid ounce) tin crushed tomatoes (you can also use tinned plum tomatoes and puree them yourself, although note that the sauce will be thinner)
1/4 tsp. salt, or to taste
10 ounces ground beef or pork (optional)
1 to 2 packages rice vermicelli
Heat a small saucepan over medium heat with the olive oil. As soon as you smell the olive oil, add the garlic and sauté until you smell the garlic’s fragrance. It’s okay if it’s slightly browned, though be careful because garlic can burn quickly and then you’ll have to start over.
Add the crushed tomatoes (or pureed tinned plum tomatoes) and fill the can half full with water to thin slightly. Stir. Cook over medium heat until the garlic has infused and the sauce is warm, 5 to 10 minutes. Add garlic powder to taste if you wish for a stronger garlic flavour.
If you are making this tomato sauce as shown in the comic above, simply add the crushed tomatoes to a pot heating over medium heat, fill the can half full with water and thin, and add garlic powder and salt, adjusting to taste.
If you want meat added, separately fry ground beef or pork, breaking up in pieces, until there’s no more pink. Season with garlic powder and add to the tomato sauce.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add rice vermicelli. Lower the heat slightly and cook until noodles are soft and white. Drain. If you like, you can stir the tomato sauce into the noodles (once they’ve been drained and put back in the pot), leaving some sauce leftover if some would like extra sauce, or you can serve the noodles individually and pour the sauce over.