Friday, November 14, 2008

Spaghetti with Olives and Tomato Sauce

Cook Time: 1 hr 40 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 servings


* 1 pound dried spaghetti
* 1/4 cup olive oil
* 1 1/4 cups mixed olives, pitted and halved
* 1/2 tablespoon red pepper flakes, plus more if desired
* 3 cups tomato sauce, recipe follows
* 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
* 1/2 cup basil leaves, shredded


In a large pot, bring 6 quarts of salted water to a boil. When water
comes to a boil, add pasta, stirring constantly for the first minute
to help prevent spaghetti from sticking together. Cook until al dente,
about 8 to 10 minutes.

In a large saute pan, heat oil. When almost smoking, add olives and
red pepper flakes. Saute for 3 minutes over medium high heat. Reduce
heat to low and carefully pour in tomato sauce and simmer for 10

Drain pasta in a colander, reserving 1/4 cup pasta water. Add pasta to
the sauce and toss to coat completely. Add pasta water if you need to
thin out the sauce a bit. Plate pasta and sprinkle with Parmesan
cheese and basil.

Simple Tomato Sauce:
Yield: 6 cups

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 (32-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
2 dried bay leaves
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, optional

In a large casserole pot, heat oil over medium high heat. Add onion
and garlic and saute until soft and translucent, about 5 to 10
minutes. Add celery and carrots and season with salt and pepper. Saute
until all the vegetables are soft, about 5 to 10 minutes. Add tomatoes
and bay leaves and simmer uncovered on low heat for 1 hour or until
thick. Remove bay leaves and check for seasoning. If sauce still
tastes acidic, add unsalted butter, 1 tablespoon at a time to round
out the flavors.

Add 1/2 the tomato sauce into the bowl of a food processor. Process
until smooth. Continue with remaining tomato sauce.

If not using all the sauce, allow it to cool completely and pour 1 to
2 cup portions into freezer plastic bags. This will freeze up to 6


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