Northwest NEWS

September 21, 1998

Home & Garden

DINING IN: Perfect Pasta

   Pesto Pasta with Chunky Eggplant Sauce
   1 25-oz. jar spaghetti sauce
   1/2 c. water
   1/2 lb. eggplant, peeled and cut into 1/2 in. pieces
   1/3 c. pitted black olives, coarsely chopped
   2 Tbsp. drained capers
   12 oz. pesto ribbons or spinach spirals
   Pour sauce into large sauce pan. Pour water into empty jar, cover and shake well. Stir this liquid into pot. Add eggplant, olives, capers, and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered , until eggplant is tender, 12 to 15 minutes.
   Meanwhile, cook pasta in boiling water according to package directions. Drain thoroughly. Toss with sauce and serve.
   Pasta Puttanesca
   1/4 c. olive oil
   1 Tbsp. minced garlic
   4 c. chopped tomatoes
   1/2 c. chopped fresh parsley
   2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil or 1 Tbsp. dried basil
   1 tsp. dried oregano
   1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
   2 Tbsp. capers, drained
   18 pitted ripe olives
   12 oz. canned anchovies, optional
   Salt and pepper to taste
   1/2 c. golden raisins
   1/4 c. pine nuts
   1 lb. rotelle noodles
   In a large skillet, Heat oil and add garlic. Cook briefly until limp. Add tomatoes, half the parsley, the basil, oregano, pepper flakes, capers and olives. Cook over medium heat for 25 minutes.
   Meanwhile, drain and chop anchovies. Add sauce with remaining parsley, raisins, pine nuts, salt and pepper. Cover and cook 5 minutes. Set aside.
   Cook rotelle in rapidly boiling, salted water until al dente. Drain and cover with sauce.
   Penne in Salsa Salinese
   1 small eggplant, 1- 1 1/4 lbs.
   8 oz. penne pasta
   1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
   1 small red onion, finely chopped (1/2 c.)
   4 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped
   2-3 anchovy filets, rinsed
   2 Tbsp. chopped green olives
   2 Tbsp. capers, rinsed, drained and coarsely chopped
   5 oz. canned solid tuna in olive oil, well drained
   2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil
   2 Tbsp. chopped parsley
   Freshly ground pepper
   1/4 c. toasted bread crumbs (optional)
   Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
   Cut the eggplant vertically into 3/4-in. slices. Trim away the peel and cut the flesh into 3/4-inch cubes. Arrange the eggplant in a single layer on a non-stick baking sheet. Spray the eggplant liberally with cooking spray, using your hands to coat it well. Bake 15 minutes, or until the eggplant is soft but holds its shape, stirring once to turn the cubes.
   Meanwhile, boil a large pot of water and add the pasta.
   While the pasta cooks, in a large, nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium heat.
   Add the eggplant, onion and tomatoes. Cook until the tomatoes soften and are moist, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. Add the anchovies, using the spoon to break them up and mix them into the sauce. Add the olives, capers, tuna, basil and parsley and cook just until everything is evenly heated. Season to taste with the pepper.
   Dump the pasta into a colander, but do not drain it well. With some cooking water still clinging to it, immediately add the pasta to the sauce. Stir to combine the pasta and sauce. Serve immediately, passing the bread crumbs separately in a bowl, if you wish, to sprinkle over the pasta like cheese. Four servings.
   Tortellini Carbonara
   1 package (15. oz.) cheese tortellini
   1 package (10 oz.) broccoli florets, partially thawed
   1/2 c. diced drained roasted red peppers
   1 jar (17 oz.) roasted garlic Parmesan pasta sauce
   4 oz. bacon, crisp cooked and crumbled
   In 3-qt. saucepan, cook tortellini according to package directions, adding broccoli during last 2 minutes of cooking; drain.
   Return pasta mixture to sauce pan. Stir in roasted peppers and pasta sauce.
   Turn onto serving platter and top with bacon. Garnish, if desired, with grated Parmesan cheese.
   Sonoma Rigatoni
   1/2 c. (1 1/2 oz.) dried tomato bits
   1 lb. dried rigatoni, cooked as package directs, and drained
   1 jar (26 to 30 oz.) prepared spaghetti sauce
   8 oz. mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2-in. cubes
   1 c. sliced mushrooms
   3/4 c. plus 1 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese, divided
   1/4 c. olive oil
   In large bowl combine all ingredients except 1 Tbsp. of the Parmesan cheese. Spoon into 9 x 13-inch baking dish or pan or 3-quart casserole; sprinkle top evenly with remaining cheese.
   Cover with aluminum foil or lid.
   Bake in 350-degree oven 30 minutes, or until heated through and cheese is melted. 6 servings.
   Fig and Walnut Pasta with Gorgonzola
   1 c. (5 oz.) Calimyrna or Mission figs
   2 Tbsp. butter
   1 large onion, sliced
   8 oz. vermicelli or linguine
   2 Tbsp. olive oil
   1/2 c. chopped walnuts
   1/2 tsp. salt
   1 1/2 c. (6 oz.) crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
   Remove fig stems and coarsely chop; set aside. Heat butter in large skillet. Add onion and saute over medium-high heat 10- 12 minutes, stirring frequently, until golden brown.
   Meanwhile prepare pasta according to package directions.
   Drain; toss with olive oil and set aside. Stir figs, walnuts and salt into onions; cook 2 minutes or until heated through.
   Pour mixture over pasta. Sprinkle with Gorgonzola and toss gently. Serve immediately. Serves 4-6.
   Market Peppers & Pasta
   8 oz. uncooked dried mostaccioli no-stick cooking spray
   3/4 c. thin strips green pepper
   3/4 c. thin strips red pepper
   3/4 c. thin strips yellow or orange pepper
   1/2 tsp. finely chopped fresh garlic
   1/3 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
   3 Tbsp. butter, softened
   2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
   1/2 tsp. salt
   1/8 tsp. pepper
   Cook pasta according to package directions. Rinse with hot water; drain.
   Meanwhile, spray 10-inch non-stick skillet with no-stick cooking spray; add pepper strips and garlic.
   Cook over high heat, stirring constantly, until peppers are crisply tender and just start to brown (3 to 5 minutes).
   In large bowl, toss together cooked pasta, peppers and all remaining ingredients until butter is melted. 6 servings.