My man knows the way to my heart.
Yesterday I came home to the peace and quiet of Montone, and there were stunning roses in the living room and a full sideboard of vegetables in the kitchen.
Cherry season has just begun and it’s looking to be a bang up year if the cherries we just devoured are any indication. Jeff also bought a mountain of these gorgeous, sweet red onions. If anyone has some yummy onion recipes, I’m all ears because we’ve got a lot of them.
All the fixings for soffrito were in the kitchen: celery, onions and carrots. Jeff has been bragging that he made soffrito for himself, for two different sauces. He made enough one night, that he had enough for the second night. Who says old dogs can’t learn new tricks? Now I’m worried that I’ll be made redundant.
Maybe I don’t have to worry, since at lunchtime he resumed his familiar bellow, “I’m hungry.” This is an invitation for me to go downstairs and start banging some pots, so I guess I still have a job as the cook.
I haven’t had time to go to the grocery store yet, so it meant putting something together with what was on hand. The first decent tomatoes of the season were sitting there, just begging to be roasted, along side some of those onions, so it was pasta with roasted vegetables for lunch.
2 branches of cherry tomatoes
1 sweet red onion
1 good sized handful of pitted olives
2 dry chili peppers, roughly chopped
2 anchovy filets
2 cloves of thinly sliced garlic
1/2 cup of tomato sauce
oregano, extra virgin olive oil, salt
Lay the cherry tomatoes in a shallow roasting pan, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with some salt and a little oregano.
Slice the red onion and lay the slices on a cookie sheet, drizzle with oil and salt.
Place both pan in the oven and roast at 350F/180C for 20-25 minutes.
While the vegetables are roasting, put the pasta water on to boil. I used an egg pasta that cooks in about 4 minutes, so I had to move quickly to get the sauce made. Use a sauce pan that is big enough to hold all of the cooked pasta.
Saute the anchovy filets in a few tablespoons of olive oil until the anchovies dissolve; about a minute. Be sure to use a saute pan that is big enough to hold the cooked pasta. Add the garlic, olives, chili peppers and gently saute.
Before you drain the pasta, add 1 full ladle full of pasta water to the olive-chili sauce pan. Add the 1/2 cup of tomato sauce and mix well.
Now add the pasta and let it cook for about 2 minutes so it can absorb the pasta water and the flavored oil.
Remove the roasted, slightly caramelized onions from the oven and mix with a small amount of balsamic style vinegar.
Serve the pasta in a big bowl, topped with the roasted tomatoes and caramelized onions. Simple and satisfying; it’s good to be home.
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