Pasta Pomodoro With Summer Vegetables

“Everything you see I owe to Spaghetti”

Sophia Loren

Summer came late this year but it’s now here with a vengeance.  Long hot days and nights and more than 27 degrees predicted for the next week.  We’ll be at the house at Cultus Lake this weekend with my husbands family, a yearly tradition.

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Tonight I made an improvised Pomodoro sauce and threw in a bunch of veggies: fresh basil, fire roasted red peppers, cherry tomatoes, capers and spinach.

When I was in Italy I learned a trick for Pomodoro; Whenever you get through your parmesano cheese, keep the rinds in a bag in the fridge and throw them into the sauce just for flavour. They can be pulled out before serving.  Usually I make fresh Pomodoro with tomatoes but during my recent Birthday trip to Vancouver Island, I stopped in at Coombs Old Country Market and picked up some ingredients from their large array of international brands including a few jars of different types of pasta sauces.  Today I used the Vodka sauce as my base.  https://oldcountrymarket.com/

This is my twist on Pasta Pomodoro with Vegetables.

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You Will Need: 

Spaghetti or your choice of pasta

1 Jar of pasta sauce

Olive oil

1 Tblsp Garlic Butter

1 cup cherry tomatoes cut in 1/2

2 cups spinach torn by hand

1 whole bunch of fresh sweet basil

1 jar fired roasted red pepper chopped

2 Tblsp of capers

1 onion chopped

3 garlic cloves chopped

Leftover rinds of parmesan cheese (if you don’t have any just add shredded parmesan to the sauce while cooking )

Salt & Pepper to taste

1/2 cup of vegetable broth

1 tsp each of: 

Smoked Paprika

garlic powder

onion powder

dried oregano

Truffle Oil (optional)

 

Instructions:

Cook pasta until al-dente (butter and set aside)

In a large skillet, heat olive oil on high heat and begin sauteeing the onions followed by garlic.

Add the cherry tomatoes and cook for a few minutes until they begin to soften

Roasted red peppers go in next and then the capers

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Add the pasta sauce to the pan and top with all spices and salt and pepper to taste.

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Place the Parmesan rinds into the sauce and tear up the basil and add to the sauce.  Lower heat to medium low and let simmer for about 5 – 10 minutes.  I found the sauce thickening quickly so to avoid it sticking I added 1/2 of cup of broth.

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After 10 minutes add in the spinach a handful at a time. It will cook down and almost disappear so don’t worry if it seems like a lot at the beginning. Let simmer for another 10 minutes to build flavour and add more spices if needed.  I always do.

Right before finishing I added the garlic butter and let it melt into the sauce.  Pull the Parmesan rinds out and discard.

Transfer the sauce into the pot of pasta and stir to combine.  I added a splash of Truffle Oil we bought at the Torciano Winery in San Gemignano last year.

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I toasted some garlic bread and placed some Ricotta Cheese on the table as a topping for our pasta.

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Bon apetito!

Love,

Jennifer

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