Pareve Pasta

Spaghetti with Cherry Tomatoes and Olives

Spaghettie+with+Cherry+Tomatoes.jpg

Makes 6 first course servings.

Makes 4 main course servings.  

I have chosen to feature this dish because cherry tomatoes, which I roast, are fairly reliable in taste.  Roasting the cherry tomatoes intensifies their flavor, and to avoid the seeds and the skin, I puree it all in a Vitamix. The sauce becomes creamy and delicious.

I like to serve this pasta at room temperature or warm. The sauce freezes well.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 pound cherry tomatoes, rinsed

  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil.  

  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced

  • 1 small Vidalia onion, sliced

  • ¼ teaspoon sugar

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper

  • ½ cup pitted Kalamata olives, halved

  • 1 cup tightly packed basil leaves, torn into small pieces 

  • 1 pound imported spaghetti

PREPARATION:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375F. 

  2. In an ovenproof glass or ceramic dish, combine the cherry tomatoes with the oil, garlic, onion, sugar, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper.  Roast until tomato skins are slightly shriveled, about 40 minutes.   

  3. Puree all in a Vitamix until smooth. Place in a largebowl adding the olives and basil.  

  4. In a large covered pot, bring 5 quarts of water to a rolling boil. Add 2 tablespoons salt and all the pasta at once. Stir. Boil briskly, uncovered, for about 9 minutes. The pasta should be al dente since it will continue to cook in the hot sauce.

  5. Toss with the sauce and season to taste with salt and pepper.

 

Spaghetti with Tomato Eggplant Sauce

Makes 6 first course servings.

Makes 4 main course servings.

This dish is for any time of year since the tomato sauce is not made with fresh tomatoes and eggplant is available all year.

Traditionally the eggplant is fried or roasted, but I prefer to broil it. This method requires less oil and saves time.

Freezing this sauce to have on hand is a help.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 baby eggplants, about ¾ pounds (See Note)
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • One 28 ounce can crushed San Marzano style tomatoes
  • 1 cup tightly packed basil leaves, coarsely torn
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder, approx
  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

PREPARATION:

  1. Preheat the broiler.
  2. Trim and discard eggplant stems, peel the eggplants, cut into ½ an inch dice, and place in a bowl. Toss the eggplant with ¼ cup of oil and spread it on a foil lined baking sheet.
  3. Broil for about 8 minutes or until almost soft. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
  4. In a large saucepan heat the rest of the oil, add the onion and garlic and sauté over low heat, covered for about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the tomatoes, basil and chili powder. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat and simmer, covered for 15 minutes. Add the eggplant and combine.  
  6. Bring 5 quarts of water to a rolling boil, add 2 tablespoons salt and all the spaghetti at once. Stir and boil briskly, uncovered for about 7 minutes. The pasta should be very al dente; it will continue cooking in the hot sauce.
  7. Drain well in a colander and combine with the hot sauce.
  8. Season to taste

NOTE:

I prefer using baby eggplants because they are not as seedy as regular ones.

 
 

Ziti with Cauliflower

Makes 6 first course servings.

Makes 4 main-course servings.

Since the main ingredient of this dish is available year-round, this recipe is one of my tried-and true standbys.  I serve it warm or at room temperature depending on the season.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 medium head cauliflower (about 2 pounds)

  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 3 garlic cloves very finely chopped

  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper

  • ½ cup pine nuts

  • Grated rind of 1 lemon

  • 3-4 tablespoons lemon juice

  • ¼ cup loosely packed oregano leaves

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 pound imported ziti

PREPARATION

  1. Separate the cauliflower into very small florets and steam until al dente, about 3 minutes.

  2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a wok, add the garlic, crushed red pepper and pine nuts. Sauté over low heat for a minute.

  3. Remove to a plate.

  4. Heat the rest of the oil in the wok. Add the steamed cauliflower and sauté over high heat, stirring frequently until the cauliflower is beginning to brown, about 3 minutes.

  5. Lower the heat and add the sautéed garlic mixture, lemon zest, lemon juice, oregano leaves, salt and pepper.

  6. Bring 5 quarts of water in a large pot to a rolling boil. Add 2 tablespoons salt and all of the ziti. Stir and boil briskly, uncovered for about 6 minutes, until the pasta is al dente.

  7. Drain well in a colander and combine with the cauliflower.

  8. Season to taste with crushed red pepper lemon juice, salt and pepper.