Tomatoes make a rich sauce on their own, but if you want to register very high on the mouth-feel scale, just add some homemade roasted red pepper puree. That was my experience tonight with a pasta dinner I label “Sicilian” because it feels that way to me and the wine was definitely one of the best from that marvelous island.
Tonight was a minor (and private) celebration. Our air conditioning was repaired after being out of commission for two very hot, very muggy weeks. I had a burst of energy as the house cooled down, so I prepared for tomorrow’s class, set up the last four class sessions for the summer term, cut the little lawn, and weeded and watered my small vegetable garden. By 7:15 PM I was ready to create in the kitchen.
I sort of made it up as I went along:
- take out the remaining Lavalle canned organic Italian whole tomatoes and juice (less than a pint) from the refrigerator
- supplement that with one plump Roma tomato, diced
- sauté some garlic in olive oil, to flavor the oil — remove garlic when lightly browned
- start the pot of pasta water on high heat
- add the tomatoes (fresh one first), sauté with some salt and pepper until it starts to blend well with the oil into a sauce, chunks still visible
- cut one small yellow squash in half lengthwise, then across in 1/4″ slices
- sauté the squash and brown on both sides, adding the saved garlic from above
- cover the sauté pan partially while cooking the squash, so it comes out tender
- add the remaining one cup of puree I made from grilling peppers last week to the tomato sauce, stirring and simmering slowly
- pit and coarsely chop 14 Kalamata olives
- when the squash is tender, add it to the tomato sauce, stir, and simmer to blend flavor
- add the olives and stir. add chopped Italian parsley for color and flavor.
- meanwhile cook 132 g. of high quality spaghetti in salted boiling water until al dente
- open a bottle of Occhipinti SP68, a blend of Nero d’Avola and Frappato, usually known as Cerasuolo
- serve the pasta in a large bowl and the wine in a good-sized ballon shaped glass; the pasta was delicious, even without any Pecorino (are you reading that, Jan?) Non-vegans can add Pecorino (preferably Sarde) or Parmiggiano, if desired.
- Buon appetito!
Here are the pix.