Thursday, March 21, 2013

How to eat pasta without tomato sauce

Imported 100% whole-wheat farfalle in a sauce made with organic diced tomatoes, but no tomato sauce, above. The next morning, the whole-wheat pasta was the perfect foil for two organic brown eggs, below.

Oil and garlic, and a fragrant basil pesto are two ways to eat pasta without tomato sauce.

But don't stop there.

I emptied a can of organic diced tomatoes with its  juices into a large, non-stick pan; added two cans of drained sardines, rinsing them to reduce sodium; and a couple of ounces of salted cod fish that had been boiled twice to remove salt and broken into small pieces.

I followed with 3 or 4 ounces of extra-virgin olive oil from Cyprus, a few ounces of French red wine, lots of chopped fresh garlic and some red-pepper flakes, and I broke up the sardines with a spatula before covering the pan and turning on the heat to bring everything to a low boil.

Meanwhile, I boiled 1 pound of imported whole-wheat farfalle, drained the pasta and mixed it well with the sauce.

When I served the pasta, I made sure to sprinkle on grated sheep's milk Pecorino Romano cheese from Italy. Next time, I'll add pine nuts to the sauce.

I usually make 1 pound of pasta to provide leftovers for breakfast and dinner the next day.

Kirkland Signature Basil Pesto from Costco Wholesale has lots of uses beyond dressing pasta. It adds a spring-like zing to bland tofu in a takeout dinner salad, above, and to wild-caught Icelandic haddock fillets right out of the oven, below.

Another sauce for pasta -- cacio e pepe -- uses lots of grated cheese and ground black pepper, and a cup or more of reserved pasta water.

After the pasta is boiled and drained, add it to a non-stick pan and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil to prevent sticking.

Then, the hot pasta water goes in and the heat goes on, followed by lots of grated Pecorino Romano cheese and ground black pepper to taste. 

Add more hot pasta water, if necessary. Mix well. By the way, don't salt the water beforehand, and use just enough to cover the pasta.

Again, I make this with 1 pound of organic whole-wheat spaghetti from Trader Joe's to provide plenty of leftovers.  

I use organic diced tomatoes, Pecorino Romano cheese, fresh garlic, ground black pepper, red-pepper flakes, refrigerated pesto and wild-caught Icelandic haddock from Costco Wholesale.

The Garofalo whole-wheat Farfalle or Bow Ties I used in the first recipe had a cooking time of 15 minutes, one of the longest I have ever seen. I used Costco's Basil Pesto to dress artisanal egg noddles from Italy that I found at my warehouse store in Hackensack only once, below.



  1. Oh come now, Victor, who ever heard of eating pasta without tomato sauce. Basil Pesto, sounds like a character in Godfather II, not to mention his cousin Al Fredo.

  2. Not to mention Al Dente, uncle of Jim Dente.

  3. I just can’t imagine how pasta tastes without tomato sauce in it. I haven’t tried that one yet. And I am quite curious of how it taste.


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