It feels like it’s been some time since I’ve done a meatless Monday post, let alone cooked a meatless meal on a Monday. While searching for clean-eating recipes for the week, I stumbled upon this one from Yummily Yours that I had to try since I’m still in the quest for finding the perfect natural (aka unprocessed) marinara sauce.
It’s crazy how little amount of time and effort it takes to make a marinara. I like more chunks of tomatoes and less “sauce” in mine, so I don’t necessarily puree the tomatoes – just halve them and cook or bake. Tomatoes are magical like that.
So Arrabbiata is a spicy sauce that is made from garlic, tomatoes, and red chili peppers cooked in olive oil. I laid low on the red chili peppers and used chili powder myself because I was going to have the children try the sauce, but my husband deemed it an “adult meal” and now I know next time to actually use red pepper FLAKES, not ground chili. I left it as it’s intended to be cooked in the recipe below though.
I was most thoroughly excited about learning how to get that “restaurant shine” you see often see in pasta dishes when I tried this recipe. The secret? Add a little under half a cup of the water you cooked your pasta in to the skillet you’re cooking your tomato mixture in. Who would have thought?!
- 8-ounces linguine pasta
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- cherry tomatoes , sliced into halves
- 2 tablespoons chilli flakes
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- grated parmesan, for topping.
- Bring a large saucepan to a raging boil and add pasta. Cook according to package.
- In the meantime, heat olive oil in a skillet over med-high heat. Add minced garlic, allowing to saute; 3 minutes. Next add the tomatoes and cook until they appear softened and the skin looks slightly broken.
- As pasta is finished, drain all but 1/3 of pasta water if possible. Add just pasta to tomatoes and mix well, adding salt and pepper for taste if desired. Next add pasta water, stirring so that the water and olive oil are combined. This sound appear to thicken the sauce some.
- Garnish with chilli flakes and parsley, stirring again to combine. Serve with grated parmesan strips overtop.
Adapted from Yummily Yours
Adapted from Yummily Yours
When we think of pasta, we imagine a tomato sauce deliciously overlapping noodles. Spaghetti Carbonara is a little different, but the good kind of different.
The dish that originated out of Rome simply consists of egg, bacon, black pepper and cheese tangled between thin pasta noodles. Add in additional meat, vegetables to even greater the flavor.
Perfect for those with the intention of having a light dinner, or needing a quick meal to put together.
The healthier version of pasta!
- 4 tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
- 2 large eggs
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- Whole grain spaghetti
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- pinch of red pepper flakes
- 4oz deli-fresh ham, diced into 1/2 inch pieces
- 8 sun-dried tomatoes, sliced thinly
- Fill a large saucepan 2/3 full with water for spaghetti noodles. After water is brought to a boil, cook noodles according to package.
- While noodles are cooking, whisk together eggs with 2 tablespoons cheese, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Set aside.
- In a medium skillet, add oil and cook garlic for 1 minute over medium heat. Next, add red pepper flakes and ham and cook an additional 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
- After draining noodles, add to egg mixture, stirring well with a large spoon to combine well. Add garlic and ham mixture and stir again, combining well.
- Divide among 4 plates. Add remaining 2 tablespoons of cheese on top, along with another pinch of red pepper flakes if desired.
Spaghetti is a household staple as far as dinner for at least 2 nights per month. Sometimes even as frequent as once a week, depending on how good the spaghetti itself (or sauce) is. I like to compliment my pasta with homemade meatballs that have been soaking in marinara sauce for hours ala crockpot.
Because I’m doing my best
to avoid as much processed food as possible, I’ve decided that spaghetti for me is best as natural as possible. The kids’ aren’t especially big on raw tomatoes, so they stick with the traditional spaghetti marinara, but I can get my husband to eat his spaghetti natural because he does
like raw tomatoes. Phew, nothing like a night where you AREN’T the only oddball plate at dinner.
The great part about natural sauce is you can mix and choose whatever ingredient to add to it as you like. I, personally, like just a slight hint of kick so I add crushed red pepper to mine. That also helps it to not taste too bland, as it can; tomatoes are good, but let’s be honest, they aren’t really flavorful.
Suggested Ingredients: 5 diced roma tomatoes, minced garlic, extra virgin olive oil, parmesan cheese, crushed red pepper, dried oregano, dried italian seasoning, crushed black pepper, salt.
1. Add all ingredients into a processor and only process for a few seconds. This allows the mixture to not only mix, but liquify just slightly. You do want some whole tomatoes.
Note: Processing is optional. Sometimes I just mix in a bowl and eat as is.