One of my favorite things about Spring is that it means the start of the tomato-growing season. I haven’t always been a gardener–in fact, my gardening repertoire is currently limited to growing tomatoes, herbs and peppers. I plan to change this soon; my husband and I have been researching greenhouses to see if owning one would work for us. Until then, I will have to contend with the deer who roam about our yard and seem to have quite the liking for tomato plants.
This year, I decided to grow eight tomato plants. Which one will be my favorite remains to be seen but I did pick up a winner from a couple of years ago, the jaune flamme. It’s a French heirloom variety, small and a beautiful persimmon orange color. I selected it because I liked its name and was pleasantly surprised by how sweet it was. My husband and I must have eaten half the plant’s fruits as we walked by them in the yard that year. The rest went into pasta dishes where the tomatoes provided explosive flavor to humble recipes. I made sure to purchase two jaune flammes this year.
Now I realize that growing tomatoes is not for everyone. Whether the issue be the lack of space, time or even desire, at least there is a way to enjoy a flavorful tomato-based dish with no investment required on the aforementioned. I’ve been roasting inexpensive, flavorless grocery store Roma tomatoes for years. From a flavor standpoint, these usually- shunned varieties go from being ugly ducklings to beautiful swans. A little balsamic vinegar, olive oil and salt before slow-roasting them in the oven are all you need for this tasty transformation.
I purchased a bag of Roma tomatoes this weekend so I can share with you in a future post. For this dish from a few days ago, I roasted the small batch you see here that I purchased from Trader Joe’s. I didn’t bother to remove the seeds from these little guys and I just quick-roasted them but it was enough to bring out some of the sweetness I was after. The extra juiciness that remained actually worked to add more flavor to the sauce.
Here, I cooked together some sweet chicken sausage, garlic, mushrooms, sage, white wine and the tomatoes for a quick dinner. I also used some of my homemade red chili flake-infused olive oil to provide the kick I’m always looking for. For something that was ready in the time it took to cook the pasta, this dish was packed with flavor. Can’t complain about that.
Blatant Self-Promotion. Once in a while isn’t too bad, is it? Just wanted to point you to my Facebook page (link top of my sidebar on the right). Lately, I’ve been considering posting dishes that I don’t necessarily share here. More than likely, they are simple stir-fry or pasta dishes that I put together quickly out of leftovers I have in the kitchen. They may be worthy of a look if you’re looking for simple ideas. Just a thought. I’m posting a rice dish made out of leftover lime, ginger, sweet soy sauce marinated grilled chicken and broccoli. It’s tonight’s dinner.
Farfalle with Sweet Chicken Sausage, Sage and Roasted Tomatoes
- 1 pound farfalle or any pasta you like
- 3 chicken apple sausages, casings removed (Next time I would at least 4 – 5 sausages)
- Quick-roasted tomatoes (amount you see in picture, cut in half, tossed in balsamic vinegar, olive oil and salt and roasted at 350 degrees F for about 20 minutes)
- 1/3 cup white wine (add more if adding more sausage and tomatoes)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- olive oil (I used infused oil but you can use regular)
- 2-3 cloves chopped fresh garlic
- sage leaves (I chopped 4 or 5 large leaves)
- mushrooms, chopped (I had only a handful but more would be better)
- Red chili flakes if not using infused oil