Mediterranean Pasta Yum
Since most of my family members married into Italian families, myself included, Italian inspired pasta recipes have always been a staple on our dinner tables. I have enjoyed taking Old Italian recipes and jazzing them up and giving them makeovers, as well as keeping the traditional iconic meals sacred. Italian and Mediterranean infused flavors are so complementary and savory.
Having been fortunate enough to presently live in Italy, and soak up the culture and cuisine first-hand, it was quite surprising to see how different the American recipe versions taste compared to their native inspirations that come out of both the northern and southern regions of Italy. So, keeping with my love of toying with Italian and Mediterranean flavors, here is my recipe for Mediterranean Pasta. Take it, make it, and even improvise it—buon appetito!
- 1 pound Box of Pasta, Ziti, Spaghetti, Rigatoni
- 4 tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 tablespoon Capers
- 2 tablespoons Shallots, minced
- 3 Cloves of Garlic, minced
- 4 cups Fresh Tomatoes, seeds removed and diced
- 1 can (4.25 ounces or 12g) Black Olives, diced
- ¼ cup Green Olives (with pimentos), sliced
- 1 small Red Onion, diced
- 2 cups Fresh Spinach, Kale can be substituted
- 1 tablespoon Fresh Oregano, chopped (dried can be substituted)
- 1 tablespoon Fresh Basil, chopped (dried can be substituted)
- 1 tablespoon Fresh Parsley, chopped (dried can be substituted)
- ½ cup White Wine
- 1 teaspoon Black Pepper, adjust to taste
- Salt, adjust to taste
- Asiago Cheese, grated (giovane or vecchio (young or old/aged)
- Bring pasta water to a boil and cook according to box directions. Make sure to add about a table spoon of sea salt to the water, which will help flavor the pasta.
- In a large non-stick skillet, heat the olive oil on medium heat.
- Add capers, shallots, and garlic; sauté for 2 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes and the red onion, and cook for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Your pasta water should be at a boil and ready to add your pasta of choice, and time according to directions.
- Add in the black and green olives, and the white wine to the skillet; cook for 4 minutes.
- Adjust heat to a simmer and add your spices (oregano, parsley, basil, pepper, and salt), and the spinach; simmer for 4-5 minutes.
- Once pasta is done, drain and pour into large pasta serving bowl. Pour in tomato mixture, and toss to coat the spaghetti.
- Add about a cup of grated Asiago cheese and toss well, sprinkle a little extra on top for presentation along with a sprig of parsley.
- Fresh seafood and or shellfish can be added, which can take this simple and flavorful dish to even higher delectable levels. You can even add some sliced chicken breast, veal, or turkey—the combinations and interchanging is endless with this recipe. Serve with a nice green salad and sliced Ciabatta bread. It goes well with both red and white wines. Moreover, you can take the tomato mixture and tossed it with Farfalla pasta, and served it cold as a salad in the summer. It is definitely a versatile recipe.
© 2014 Jan