Tuscan food, by tradition, is light, appetizing and extremely colorful. Feel free to experiment with any foods that fit into the latter categories and 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. 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.