Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Dressing up Annie's

I like Annie’s Mac and Cheese.  I like that it’s typically somewhat healthier than the competitor’s boxed mac and cheese.  But today, I dressed her up.  Even better than the original. 

I had a bunch of vine-ripened tomatoes left over from something a week or so ago.  I also had a half a large yellow onion, some fresh basil, and some garlic.  I thought, if nothing else, I need to make a sauce, put it away in a jar and figure out something to do with it at some point in the future.  

I started by heating up some olive oil in a large sauce pan.  Once it got nice and shimmery, I put in the half onion that I had roughly diced.  I let that sweat a bit until it was translucent and then added a couple cloves of finely diced garlic.  The beginning of just about anything tasty had begun.

While that was getting all yummy, I took these vine-ripened tomatoes (bigger than cherry tomatoes, but not ovoid like Roma tomatoes) and cut them in 8ths.  I added all of those (probably close to 3-4 cups) including their seeds and juices.  As that was cooking down, I took the fresh basil that I had and I cut it up somewhat fine…sort of a backwoods julienne, if you will. 

I let that simmer on the stove top for a while.  It started smelling pretty good.  I added a bit of kosher salt, some dried oregano, just a touch of dried basil (to support the fresh), and a few dashes of red pepper flakes for some heat. 

Stir.  Simmer.  Stir.  Simmer.

Then I got to thinking, it’s about lunch time.  I’m hungry, but I don’t want to cook an entire thing of pasta (some spinach fettuccine that I’m saving for another dish) just to use this sauce.  And then it hit me – I’ve got some Amy’s!

So, I made the Amy’s pasta per directions. Drained it and added it to the sauce.  Then I added the cheese powder to the sauce as well.  Stir stir stir.  Lastly, I grated just a little bit of this cheddar-like cheese I had left in my fridge over the top.