Cavatappi Pasta with Tomato Sauce

Cavatappi & Tomato Sauce

Source

Lesson 5 - Cooking School for Real Housewives

Learning to Cook

This week I will be teaching the housewives how to make my special pasta dish that everyone loves! It is a perfect dish any time of year but best in summer when the vegetables are in season. This is a meal that can be tossed together in less than a half hour.

The appetizer from lesson 4 is a perfect accompaniment to this meal. Add a quick green salad and your golden.

I use this recipe when it's too hot to cook or if I have plans in the evening. It's a fast easy one dish meal that has little clean up.

Housewives, you should have had plenty of time to practice your knife skills (besides stabbing each other in the backs). It looks as if there are many ingredients to work with but it's a cinch to make if you follow the directions. When you are learning to cook - you just need a little patience. Turn some music on, relax and lets start cooking!

Patience - Guns N' Roses

4 stars from 4 ratings of Cavatappi & Tomato Sauce
Saute Onion, Garlic & Red Pepper Flakes
Saute Onion, Garlic & Red Pepper Flakes | Source
Add Wine
Add Wine | Source
Reduce the sauce.
Reduce the sauce. | Source

Ingredients

  • 12 oz Cavatappi, (pasta noodles)
  • 1 Onion, small to medium
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2/3 Cup White Wine
  • 28 oz can Tomatoes, Whole & peeled
  • 3 oz Prosciutto Ham
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese, freshly grated
  • 1/2 cup Romano Cheese, freshly grated

Instructions for Cooking Pasta & Sauce

  1. Cook pasta noodles while you make the sauce according to the box directions for "al dente".
  2. Saute onions, garlic and pepper flakes in the olive oil in the pan until the onions are translucent. (about 5 minutes over medium heat)
  3. Add white wine and reduce the sauce. (it should take about 10 minutes depending on how high the heat is)
  4. When most of the alochol evaporates add tomatoes and cook until the sauce is reduced breaking up the tomatoes and stirring occasionally.
  5. Chop the prosciutto ham and toss it in for the last minute of cooking.
  6. Add sauce to the noodles, cheeses and mix together until the sauce is well blended. Enjoy!

Finish the sauce.

Add tomatoes & juice.
Add tomatoes & juice. | Source
Toss the prochuitto ham in at the last minute.
Toss the prochuitto ham in at the last minute. | Source

Pasta Secrets!

  • salt the water after it comes to a full boil
  • "al dente" means literally "to the tooth" - it should tested and is done when it is tender yet firm to the tooth
  • the better quality pasta used the less it will stick
  • cream sauces are better for flat noodles
  • tomato sauces cling better to round noodles
  • there are more than 600 shapes of pasta
  • "a watched pot never boils" ~ unknown origin but true!
  • if you place a wooden spoon over a pot of boiling noodles - it won't boil over
  • if you want to serve pasta hot - rinse it in hot water
  • if you want to serve pasta cold - rince it in cold water

Translucent vs. Uncooked Onion

This is what an onion should look like if it is cooked until translucent.
This is what an onion should look like if it is cooked until translucent. | Source

When I was learning to cook, one of the hardest things about it was understanding the instructions. I didn't have Internet or food network! I remember wondering what a translucent onion should look like. How translucent should it get? Would I be able to see translucent onions? Do I keep cooking them until they disappear? Well how the hell should I know? I couldn't cook! I would find myself staring at my cookbook, cursing it - maybe even pounding on it. I used to really wish Betty would have been a little more detailed for the novice.

I have broken down my instructions with photos so that a 10 year old could cook this dish. Not because I am patronizing anyone - I just know that if you have never been taught how to cook, even simple things can totally destroy a recipe. My photos will help you see what the sauce should look like for each step.

Housewives next week I will show you how to make a very versatile scallopini recipe. It can be used for chicken, veal, beef, pork, turkey or even a duck breast or lamb. I have a few tricks with a browned butter sauce that goes with it but can be used for a number of perfect dishes. This sauce will give you many ideas to experiment with that you can tailor to suit your taste buds!

Cavatappi & Tomato Sauce

Mix well & enjoy!
Mix well & enjoy! | Source

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Comments 29 comments

josh3418 profile image

josh3418 4 years ago from Pennsylvania

Kelly,

All right, first off I have to say that is unfair and cruel! You guys are always posting recipe hubs while I am working overnight with no food around me! LOL

Great recipe Kelly! I am definitely a pasta lover, and this looks recipe looks delicious! Thanks for sharing this recipe Kelly! And I even can use my knife skills that I have learned in your other hub to add vegetables to my pasta! :)


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Ha! Hi Josh! Thank you! This really is a super delicious recipe. It's fairly easy and yah, you are so smart! I had the other girls working on the knife skills so they could whip this right up! lol Ninja!

Now wait...how to I know that you are really Josh? And not impersonating your twin?!


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada

Kelly,

Awesome song for cooking...my typical theme song would be "Welcome to the Jungle"--just saying. I need to check out part 4 to see about my knife skills.

Translucent onions remind me of that episode of the Simpsons when Mr. Burns was going for those life extension treatments and he was all glow-ee translucent. Like you say...how the hell do you know unless you already know? (thanks for the pictures!)

Now...what does "reduce" the sauce mean? I'm printing out the pasta secrets!

Thomas


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Hey Thomas! You crack me up - always do! I should pay you double what I am paying you now for that!! You know you're worth it!

Reduce the sauce - see the photo when it has all that wine poured in up there? Well when it all disappears and looks like that next photo? Yeah - stop right there and it's time to add the tomatoes! haha

Welcome to the Jungle - now man - why didn't I thinka that?!!


Lord De Cross profile image

Lord De Cross 4 years ago

I agree with Josh, there is no store open at 2.39am, unless I drive 10 miles to Walmart. Add Wine?? I would have to get my oenions tomorrow to get this recipe going. You got me hungry now Kelly!


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada

Kelly,

Wait, you've been paying me? I'm about to open up a can whoop-ass on Paypal!

OK, OK, OK...I can see the reduction thing. A picture is worth a 1000 words of in this case...one word...reduce.

This kitchen shit is fun.

Thomas


Ron Hawkster profile image

Ron Hawkster 4 years ago from United States of America

Ummm.... All these years I thought "reduce the sauce" meant slurp some of it while mom is not looking. At least that's how we did it in our household according to Dad's instructions... Make it disappear.

We also had another rule: If you make us hungry with the description of the food, you now have to make it for us. So, I'm waiting... You make it, and I'll reduce it. Promise! Now, where is the button for "looks yummy"?


carol7777 profile image

carol7777 4 years ago from Arizona

Sounds really good and thanks for detailed instructions. I have to go check my knives they may need sharpening. Stabbing other people with spoons and forks works well also. Voted up


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Sounds delish! I've been trying to have one or two pasta nights a week lately and your recipe is going on this weeks menu. All I need to get is the wine. Wine is like beer in this house ... As soon as it hits the kitchen it evaporates :)


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 4 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

And I believe that "reducing" the sauce also means "reducing" the calories!

Yay! another winner recipe. I have never used prosciutto in any recipe. What does it taste like? I've heard it's sort of a hammy bacon.


Dr Pooja profile image

Dr Pooja 4 years ago

It is almost midnight here but your recipe is irresistible.Voted up and ready for tomorrow's lunch.


TToombs08 profile image

TToombs08 4 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

Kelly, this is wonderful. You had me at GNR and then fed me. I missed knife practice? Holy heck, now I know where Josh got his stabbing sense of humor from...or is that his better looking, funnier, older brother? :)


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

See? I told ya! Once you learn your way around the kitchen - it's sexy! Powerful! You CAN whip up a batch of gruel and save everyone in your home if 2012 does happen...you know...my birthday? LOL

Yeah I swear I wish I'd had those photos when imfirst started out...I had no idea like "how MUCH" do you reduce a sauce? What's it look like when it's right? Lol.

The translucent onion thing used to throw me...I could still see those suckers! Lol


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Hey Hawkster - that's funny! Yeah it is one way to reduce your sauce! Swig it! Lol. But in this case...we were gonna go ahead and burn all that alcohol off so the kids won't get drunk:) haha

Thank you and hey I have plenty of left overs from last night!


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Hi carol - yeah stabbing someone with a spoon could hurt if you do it right:) lol

Thank you so much for the comment:)


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Haha, that's a good one! Lol. Yeah alcohol is supposed to evapaorate! Good job!

I have to say this is a good one - if the kids will eat it...both of them...it's a winner here! Lol


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Hey Lela! Prosciutoo is weird. You can eat it plain - it won't hurt you - but it does have a light ham flavor. It's a pain to work with - really thin and tears apart easy. I personally LOVE how it tastes fried! If you put a piece in a pan and fry it both sides...it crumbles just like bacon - and it's awesome! I dump it on salads...wrap it around gulf shrimp and drizzle it with EVOO and a little vinegar...delish!

If you try it let me know how you like it please!


Dexter Yarbrough profile image

Dexter Yarbrough 4 years ago from United States

I am not a housewife, but I can make this dish thanks to your great recipe and excellent instructions! Voted, up, up and away!


drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida

Pasta is one of my favorite foods, Kelly, so you know you struck a nerve with this delicious recipe. There are over 600 kinds of pasta. Who knew? Not me. And I never noticed cavatappi pasta in the market before - looks like little elbow mac. Thanks for the fascinating introduction.


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Hi Dr. Pooja - funny I always get hungry around that time which is the worst! lol I hope you enjoy it if you try it! Thank you so much!


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

hahah Terrye - yeah we may never know! They could be pulling a trick..how do we know there aren't really 3 of them? And they would all have the same DNA! haha

So lets just not give those boys anything sharp!


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Hey Dex! Thank you so much - you are so clever I have no doubt that you could make anything you wanted with perfection!


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Hi Drbj - I do love my pasta! mmmmm! Cavatappi is kinda hard to find actually - now when I was shopping and I had to go to three stores to find it (it's organic also) I found a box of "Twisted Elbows" that looked very similar. I had this dish of Cavatappi at Carraba's - they used to have one a few miles away. It closed down so I had to find a way to recreate it! lol

I also learned to make my dipping oil for bruchetta using fresh herbs there - they tasted so much better I asked what was in it. Foolishly they told me:) lol


The Frog Prince profile image

The Frog Prince 4 years ago from Arlington, TX

SSSHHHH... I snuck into this class!

The Frog


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

ha! Well Jim you go straight to the head of the class - I know you know how to cook! LOL You are no novice in the kitchen - but you are welcome in my class any day!


Sharyn's Slant profile image

Sharyn's Slant 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

This looks really great Kel! I love the idea of the Prosciutto ham and the two different cheeses. Yum! Just this past weekend, I went to a "Little Italy" festival. I couldn't believe all the food I saw. It was amazing (and really expensive too). Your recipe would have fit right in! I ended up with cavatelli and meatballs, and then later on an Italian sausage sandwich. Gonna share in a few places and pin too!


midget38 profile image

midget38 4 years ago from Singapore

Thanks for a wonderful recipe, Kelly. I am a pasta lover and you've just showed me a new way to make it!! Thanks for this, I'm pinning!


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

You are so lucky Sharon! I wish we had a little festival going on here - I'd have gone for sure! Sounds awesome - I am really in the mood for some good italian food too - heavy cream - red sauces - all that!

You would love this pasta I bet - it's just SO good! Thank you!


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Hey midget - thanks! I love pasta too - too much! lol I just love any kind of food I guess - and all the stuff that is bad for you too - breads, cakes, pies!

Thanks so much for the pin too:)

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