Sunday, November 24, 2013




Roasted Veggie and Salami Pasta

Among my favorite pasta sauces is a spicy Arrabbiata. I love the aroma and the taste of roasted vegetables in the sauce.  If you have not done this already, Arrabbiata as a pizza sauce is amazing.  You will love it.  In this dish, I used roasted vegetables to make a fresh, from-scratch sauce that is warm, inviting and particularly a cool autumn-winter favorite.  It is one of the simplest, least time-consuming sauces I have ever made.  Let's get started!
Starting line-up:
1/2 cup of your favorite salami  (I used Italian dry and Sopressata)
1 yellow or red onion, quartered
6 large cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
2 pints of cherry or grape tomatoes (washed)
1 Fresno chili
1 serrano or sweet Italian chili
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons Italian dry seasoning or, 2 fresh sprigs of oregano and 6 - 8 fresh basil leaves  (or both!)
salt and pepper
1 pound (for 4) of your favorite pasta or, 1/2 pound for two people
Parmigiano cheese to grate over the plated pasta

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  Toss the prepared vegetables in a bowl with one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil.  Place the veggies into a cast iron skillet or an oven-safe skillet.  Season with salt and pepper. Place the oven-safe skillet into the oven and roast for about 18 minutes, until the tomatoes begin to pop open.  Your nose and ears will tell you, especially, when this process has occurred. 


Remove the two peppers and remove the stem and the seeds.  If you want your sauce extra spicy and hot, leave the seeds in.  This sauce is already smoky and spicy with the seeds removed, but I leave that up to you.  Afterward, place all of the roasted vegetables into your food processor or blender.  Puree the vegetables and set aside.  

Ready to add the rest of my roasted tomatoes!

Meanwhile, in a high-sided skillet over medium-high heat, add the other tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil.  Slice the salami into slivers and sear up in the hot oil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add your blended sauce.  Bring the heat back up until the sauce boils.  Add the dry seasonings now. Stir thoroughly.  

Bring a pot of water to a boil and salt liberally. Add your pasta and cook about 8 - 12 minutes, until al dente, or, just before it is fully cooked.  Meanwhile, add half or so of the fresh basil, reserving a few torn leaves and a couple of whole leaves for garnish, if you like. 


Allow the sauce to simmer on low for about ten minutes, stirring occasionally to allow those wonderful flavors to marry well.  Your home will smell absolutely amazing.  If you live in an apartment, your neighbors will be jealous and give you a thumbs up as they walk by your place (as they did with me!). I had my windows open a little.  

When the pasta is done, save about a half cup of the pasta water and drain the pasta in a colander.  Turn the heat off. Add a small tab of butter to the large pasta pot, add the pasta with a few torn basil leaves (or fresh baby torn kale) back to the pot.  Grate a little parmigiano cheese over the pasta, then pour the sauce into the large pot over the pasta.  Grate a bit more cheese and using tongs, thoroughly mix the pasta with the sauce.  That little tab of butter will not only give the pasta mad flavor but it will give a gloss to your sauce and help it stick better to the pasta.  


About this time, I bet you wish you had smellaphone or smellaputer!

Plate, sprinkle with and garnish with fresh torn basil, and grate a bit more parmigiano atop the pasta.  That sharp taste will be throughout the pasta and sauce. Trust me, so good!  Now serve and enjoy!!!


 Enjoy this warm, spicy pasta made with all fresh vegetables and herbs.  Nothing better on a cool or cold autumn or winter's night.  Until next time, Thank You for viewing!