Hi everyone!

During this time of the year, most of us are generally returning from our summer vacations with taste buds fully satisfied from exotic food indulgences. But this year, has been so different. Left out of choices, I was compelled to try out a recipe of one of my favourite dishes, Creamy Pasta Pomodoro at home. While surely a great part of the indulgence is being served food on a platter rather than labouring in the kitchen in this heat. But with the results of this dish, it was totally worth it!

Ingredients

Basic marinara

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4-5 large garlic clove, finely minced
  •  Sea salt to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 chopped tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cane sugar
  • Pinch of dried oregano
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

Creamy Tomato Sauce

  • Marinara recipe, from above
  • ¼ cup raw cashews, (may soak for 2 hours before use)
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup pasta water
  • Sea salt to taste

For the pasta

  • Penne pasta
  • Vegetables of your choice such as Broccoli, Mushrooms, Bell peppers, Spinach, Cherry Tomatoes, Zucchini, Basil leaves etc.

Instructions

  • Make the marinara sauce: Heat the olive oil in a small pot over low heat. Add the garlic, salt, and a few grinds of black pepper and cook for 2 minutes, stirring often. Add the tomatoes and their juices, balsamic vinegar, cane sugar, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Cover and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Make the creamy sauce: Add the marinara to a blender with the cashews, salt, and ¼ cup of water. Blend until smooth. Set aside until ready to use. Before serving, stir in ¼ cup hot pasta cooking water to loosen it up so that it’ll nicely coat the pasta.
  • Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water according to package directions or until al dente.
  • While the pasta cooks, heat drizzles of olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the vegetables with generous pinches of salt and pepper. Sautee, stirring occasionally, until tender. Add the spinach and gently toss until wilted. Season to taste with more salt and pepper.
  • Scoop the pasta into individual bowls, add scoops of the creamy sauce, and toss to coat. Distribute the vegetables among the bowls and top with basil and cherry tomatoes. Season to taste and serve.

SPINACH, BASIL AND PLUM SALAD, ON THE SIDE

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lime zest
  • Coarse sea salt
  • Coarsely crushed black pepper
  • 5 ounces or a bunch of baby spinach or regular spinach
  • 1 cups basil leaves, torn
  • 2 Indian plums—halved, pitted and thinly sliced

Instructions

In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil with the lemon and orange juices, the vinegar and the orange and lime zests. Season lightly with sea salt and black pepper. Adjust the seasonings to taste.

In a large bowl, toss the spinach, basil and plums and chill in the freezer for 10 minutes. Add the dressing and toss well. Sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper and serve right away.

Enjoy!

Recipes inspired from :

loveandlemons.com

foodandwine.com

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