Whole Grain Spaghettini with Fresh Tomatoes, Olives and Garlic

I had been trying to find the time to prepare a dish all week! I finally found my window of opportunity at lunch today and set out to find my ingredients.

When I arrived to the store, there were bright red Hot House tomatoes staring me in the face that looked to be at their peak of ripeness! I’m thankful to live in California at times because of the fresh produce available throughout the year.  As I continued, I was able to find all of the ingredients listed on the original recipe, but I used a whole grain Barilla spaghettini (thin spaghetti) in place of the standard pasta.

As I began prepping the sauce, I was doubtful as to how easy it was going to be to peel the tomatoes being as how they were so ripe. To my surprise, it was very easy in following the chef’s tip. I would recommend boiling them until you see the cut in the tomato’s skin begin to split though; ten seconds is not quite long enough. I chopped the skinned tomatoes into coarse chunks, finely diced 2 cloves of garlic, and sliced 20 medium-sized black olives and placed them into a large bowl. Next, I added 3 Tbsp of extra virgin olive oil, 1/8 Tsp of powdered cayenne pepper, and some salt and pepper. I tossed the mixture a few times and allowed it to cool in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.

As the mixture was chilling, I prepared my spaghettini pasta by boiling it in salted water for 6 min (al dente). I strained it, placed it into a large bowl, and added the sauce mixture. I added the about double the recommended amount of pecorino romano at the end and tossed it before serving. The label assured me that the cheese actually was imported from Italy as I read the phrase “low in carbohidrate” on the label.

The dish was delicious! Even mom approved of it. I was used to using parmesan cheese in such dishes prior to this and I must say I’m glad I decided to go with the pecorino. It gives a much sharper flavor. Next time, I might try using green olives instead of black olives for a better flavor combination. In addition, I would probably use 30 or 40 olives instead of just 20 to complement the amount of tomato I had in the sauce. Salute!


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