Hello, lovely Cooking Quinoa readers!
My name is Ali, and I run a little blog called Milk & Cereal. Running and eating healthy are my favorite, but baking and sugary treats are also my favorite… Haha. That being said, my recipes range from healthy, plant-based dishes to indulgent desserts, and the tasty in-betweens. Though my first encounter with quinoa was quite mediocre, I have since learned much better ways to prepare it and, therefore, am thrilled to be a guest over here at Cooking Quinoa!
Today’s recipe was actually my first time cooking with quinoa noodles, and I found the result highly satisfactory. The noodles are paired with a homemade, garden-fresh tomato basil sauce. YUM. Homemade sauce can really amp up a dish, don’t you think? I added meat, but the meal would be just as good without it! So feel free to make this a vegetarian spaghetti. 🙂
Homemade pasta sauce is really not difficult to make; it just takes a bit of time because the tomatoes need to cook down and soften. Using fresh tomatoes and herbs from your garden or a farmers market make the meal extra satisfying. I love knowing that my ingredients were planted and picked with my own hands or were grown locally and organically.
The flavor is truly unmatched!
You can make this recipe as listed below, and you will love it, but you can also play with the ingredient list to accommodate your garden produce or taste preferences. For example, heirloom tomatoes are my favorite to make sauce with, but I use Roma or beefsteak when heirlooms aren’t available (or when they’re more expensive). I also like to add a handful of cherry tomatoes on occasion. You can even change up or add to the herb list if you’ve got a favorite that your sauce just can’t go without (like thyme or fennel, maybe). Getting creative is what makes cooking fun, interesting, and new, right? If you’re new to the cooking scene though, that’s what tried-and-true recipes like this are for!
Have at it, and enjoy your dinner!
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
- 3/4 c. onion, diced (preferably white or yellow)
- 3-5 garlic cloves, depending on size (about 3 tsp.), minced
- 5-6 tomatoes,* quartered
- 3 Tbs. white cooking wine
- 1/2 c. vegetable broth
- 5 fresh basil leaves, chopped
- 1 Tbs. fresh oregano, chopped
- 1 Tbs. fresh rosemary, chopped
- 1/4 c. fresh parsley, chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 lb. (16 oz.) quinoa spaghetti noodles
- 1 lb. lean ground meat (I use deer, but any lean meat works.), OPTIONAL
- Add the olive oil, onions, and garlic to a large, deep skillet. Turn the heat to medium-high, and sauté the onions and garlic until translucent.
- Add the tomatoes, cut side down, to the skillet, along with the wine, broth, herbs, and salt and pepper.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes to one hour, until the tomatoes have softened. Gently stir occasionally.
- When the tomatoes have about 15 minutes remaining, bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the quinoa noodles, and cook according to package directions.
- While the noodles are cooking, brown the meat in a large skillet over medium-high heat, if using. Turn heat to low when cooked.
- Next, pour the tomato mixture into a blender or food processor, and blend until smooth.
- Run the sauce through a mesh strainer. Use a spoon or spatula to help push it through.
- If you're using meat, stir the sauce into it when it's cooked. Drain the noodles when they are done cooking, and serve either topped or tossed with the sauce.
Vegetarian: Servings 8, Calories 240, Fat 5.9g, Carbohydrates 41.7g, Protein 5.4g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 129mg, Fiber 4.2g, Sugars 2.5g, WW Pts 6 *I love using heirloom tomatoes, but Roma and Beefsteak work as well. You can even add some cherry or grape tomatoes if you like.
Author bio: Ali Burke is a 20-something living in Fargo, ND, with her husband, Rob. She loves running outside on beautiful summer days and making donuts inside on winter blizzard days. Her (somewhat contradictory) list of favorite things includes running, cake, gardening, baking, playing board games, Jesus, lightning storms, almond extract, family time, learning, and Nutella. Ali is also in the process of starting her own baking business; you can find her (nearly completed) website at www.bloombaking.com. Browse her recipes and see what she’s up to at her blog, Milk & Cereal.