Tuscan food, by tradition, is light, appetizing and extremely colorful. Feel free to experiment with any foods that fit into the latter category. Not a fan of olives? Use roasted eggplant! Want more veggies? Add roasted asparagus, chopped cherry tomatoes, zucchini–the list is endless! Create, Create!
Here’s my version of a lighter, but very satisfying Tuscan dinner. Served with a side of grilled Italian sausage (if you’re not a Veggie) and caramelized butternut squash. Bellissima!
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup kalamata olives, halved, pitted
- 1 1/2 tablespoons drained capers, slightly crushed or whole
- 1 red roasted pepper, sliced thin
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil, sliced thin
- 1/2 pound spaghetti, linguini or angel hair
- 3 1/2 cups vegetable (or chicken if you’re not a Veg) broth
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 3/4 cup Italian 4 cheese mix, shredded
- salt & pepper to taste
- Grated or shaved Parmesan cheese for garnish
- Heat oil in large pot or skillet over low heat.
- Add garlic; sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add olives, capers and basil. Saute for 2-3 more minutes.
- Increase heat to medium and add broth, water and 1 teaspoon of salt to the mixture.
- Bring to a full boil and add uncooked pasta. Turn heat to low and simmer according to package directions, stirring occasionally–you may continue simmering until liquid is almost completely reduced and pasta is cooked.
- Add cream and roasted peppers. Simmer a few more minutes and add a little more broth or water if you prefer your pasta less al dente.
- As the liquid reduces in the skillet, a sauce will form.
- Add shredded Italian cheese and toss until melted.
- Adjust seasoning with additional salt and pepper.
- Transfer to a medium size pasta bowl or divide among 2-4 dishes.
- Top with grated or shaved Parmesan, additional chopped basil and a few grinds of fresh pepper.