Contributing Monkie Aria Alpert
Published on May 5, 2012
Photographer and Food Taster V Blak
I am in Cali, where the farmers market is booming with an abundant variety of amazing tomatoes. And, because of that, I always always seem to buy more than I can eat cause they all look so beautiful!!! So, if I don’t eat my luscious ripe tomatoes right away, I put them in the fridge to stay fresh but…ummmm…note to self: don’t forget about them!!! Huh. I know. My beautiful boxes of ripe golden red cherry tomatoes got pushed to the back of the fridge where I couldn’t see them clearly. Oh and I also found a bag of hot red chili’s from the farmer market too…hmmm….what to make…what to make…ohhhh, I know… a spicy Arrabiata Pasta sauce!!!!
Since coming back to the states from my Italian food adventures, I have been completely inspired to cook many incredible Italian dishes I experienced. Ahem…let me be specific…my newfound love for PASTA!!! Whole grain pasta, that is. I made the homemade pasta we learned at The Awaiting Table cooking school but it didn’t come out as perfectly as it did when we made it there, in Italy. Maybe it has something to do the all those wonderful minerals in the water…who knows…hopefully one of these days I will perfect it. It’s not that mine tasted bad, it’s just that it came out a bit thicker and chewier…in the meantime I am joyfully exploring the world of organic dry Italian pasta. Right now, I’m diggin’ Rustichella d’Abruzzo rigate di farro. It’s made from 100% farro flour, which is an unhybridized form of wheat that closely resembles spelt so any of you wheat sensitive peeps should find this ancient grain A-OK.
It’s a glorious end of summer kind of day with that wee bit of crispness of Fall in the gentle breeze, perfecto for an outdoor Italian pasta lunch! Yes, I was thinking the same thing; a special “friend” and some Italian wine is a must too! Either way, enjoy yaself!!! Ciao ciao….
About the photos, I know… I should have taken photos before we started eating. Next time I promise.
For the Recipe
1 box of dried penne pasta or any fresh pasta will do
2 boxes of golden and red cherry tomatoes, halved
½ red onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1 fresh red chili pepper, halved, seeded and chopped (leave some seeds if you want more heat!)
good Italian olive oil
1/3 cup black or green olives, pitted and halved
½ cup dried tomatoes
1 tsp sea salt or more to taste
1 TB smoked dulse flakes
½ cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
Pine nuts to sprinkle on each serving as garnish
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese or your choice of a vegan alternative
1. Make pasta as instructed on box.
2. In a medium sauce on medium heat pan add about 1TB of olive oil.
3. When hot add diced onions, garlic and red chili if using and dash of sea salt. (I like a lot of heat from the chili but if you don’t, by all means, don’t use any chili peppers or if you just want a little, only add a dash of dried red pepper flakes. Your choice.)
4. Sauté until soft, about 5 minutes.
5. Add tomatoes and dried tomatoes and stir until combined.
6. Cover and put on low heat for about 15 to 20 minutes or until tomatoes are fully broken down.
7. In a large bowl add about 4 TB of olive oil, chopped parsley, 1 tsp sea salt and olives.
8. Stir to combine and add your reserved fresh tomatoes.
9. When pasta is down add to the bowl and stir in dulse and combine.
10. Then, when sauce is done add some sauce and combine being sure to add more sauce on top of individual bowls with cheese and pine nut.