GREEK CINNAMON-SCENTED TOMATO SAUCE WITH PASTA
Serves 4 as main dish.
Sauce can be made several days ahead and kept in the refrigerator. You will love the unruliness of this hollow pasta. It fights the fork, but picks up all the goodness of the sauce. Also, this recipe marks one of the few times you break pasta before dropping it into the pot. If ziti isn't available, use penne or rigatoni.
• 5 quarts of salted water in a 6-quart pot
• Good-tasting extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 medium onion, chopped
• 1/3 c. tightly packed flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
• 1 heaping tbsp. tomato paste
• 6 large garlic cloves, minced
• 11/4 tsp. dried oregano (Greek oregano preferred)
• 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
• 1 tsp. sugar
• 1 tsp. Aleppo chile, or other medium-hot chile, or 1/2 tsp. hot red pepper flakes
• 1/2 c. dry white or red wine
• 2 lb. ripe summer tomatoes, or 28-oz. can whole tomatoes
• 11/2 to 2 c. diced cooked roast chicken or lamb, optional
• 1 lb. imported long hollow pasta such as ziti, broken into more or less 2-in. pieces
• 11/2 c. (6 oz.) fresh goat cheese, crumbled
Have the salted water boiling.
Generously film the bottom of a straight-sided 12-inch sauté pan with olive oil and heat over medium-high heat. Stir in the onion, parsley and generous sprinklings of salt and pepper. Sauté the onion to golden brown, then stir in the tomato paste, garlic, oregano, cinnamon, sugar and Aleppo pepper or other hot pepper. Turn heat down to medium and sauté 1 minute. Add the wine and cook 1 minute.
If using fresh tomatoes, grate them on a grater over a bowl and add the pulp with its juices to the pan. For canned tomatoes, crush them as they go into the pot. Raise the heat to medium-high and cook the sauce for 8 minutes, or until thick. Taste for seasoning, remove the pan from the heat and, if using chicken or lamb, stir it in. Cover the pan.
Drop the pasta into the boiling water. Boil, stirring often, for 8 minutes or until the pasta is tender, but still has a little bite. As the pasta cooks, reheat the sauce over medium-high heat. Once the pasta is done, drain it in a colander and add to the sauce. Toss over heat for a minute or more to help the sauce permeate the noodles. Turn half of it into a serving bowl and dot with half the cheese. Add the rest of the pasta and top with the remaining cheese.
Nutrition information per serving:
Calories 715 Fat 16 g Sodium 670 mg
Carbohydrates 114 g Saturated fat 7 g Calcium 148 mg
Protein 29 g Cholesterol 20 mg Dietary fiber 10 g
Diabetic exchanges per serving: 2 vegetable, 7 bread/starch, 1/2 medium-fat meat, 2 1/2 fat.