Tuesday, June 2, 2015

No pasta sauce? You can still make a flavorful pot of organic spaghetti

This pot of organic whole-wheat spaghetti is bursting with flavor from extra-virgin olive oil, lots of chopped fresh garlic and a few other items.


Red wine, anchovies and capers are just three of the ways to boost the flavor of organic whole-wheat spaghetti when you don't have or don't want to use bottled pasta sauce.

Other essentials are lots of fresh garlic and extra-virgin olive oil.

I started the sauce by cooking several fistfuls of peeled garlic cloves, roughly chopped, in enough olive oil to cover the bottom of a large oval black-and-white speckled pot.

When the garlic became fragrant, I added a can of organic diced tomatoes and several ounces of inexpensive red wine, and brought them to a boil.

Then, I added a can of anchovies and two or three tablespoons of capers, both drained and rinsed under the faucet to reduce their sodium content. 

I allowed the sauce to come to a boil again and reduce, then covered the pot and turned down the heat while I boiled the pasta in a separate pot without adding salt to the water.

I used a 1-pound package of Luigi Vitelli Organic Whole Wheat Spaghetti ($1.25 at ShopRite in Paramus) that cooks al dente in 7 minutes.

Of course, any shape will do, including Whole Foods Market's Organic Whole Wheat Shells from Italy.

The shells catch the garlic, capers and other ingredients ($1.49 a pound).

For breakfast, leftovers with a simple egg-white omelet made with a little grated Pecorino Romano Cheese and Aleppo pepper.

Drain, mix, enjoy

Drain the pasta, add it to the oval pot and mix well, making sure to spoon garlic, capers, tomatoes and other ingredients you could use, such as chopped sweet peppers and onions, over the spaghetti.

You could garnish the spaghetti with chopped mint, oregano and other herbs, and then serve it with grated Pecorino Romano Cheese, red wine and a salad.

Peeled California garlic, capers in brine and anchovies in oil are available at Costco Wholesale in Hackensack.

For cooking, I use Don Simon Shiraz ($3.99 a bottle at Whole Foods Market in Paramus), and it's drinkable enough to serve with your meal.

After a nice helping of pasta and a couple glasses of wine, you can end your meal with a salad of red- and green-leaf lettuces, which we grew in our garden from plants purchased at H Mart, the Korean supermarket in Englewood. I dressed mine in extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

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