Sicilian Pasta Dinner

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.

tomato and red pepper sauce-17

yellow squash and garlic in pan-17

yellow squash added to tomato sauce 2-18

yellow squash added to tomato sauce-18

with Kalamatas in sauce-20

sauce is ready in pan-21

pasta & sauce are ready in pan-30

pasta bowl framed-40

SP68-35

dinner table-43

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