|Spicy Italian Pasta|
What I love about this store is that most ingredients are already cut and prepared so I don't need to do a lot of chopping. I still have to chop a few items such as onions, bell pepper, garlic, etc. but most vegetables are already cut into bite pieces (including the sun-dried tomatoes). If there is no Trader Joe's near you, I hope you can find similar ingredients at a nearby store.
Spicy Italian Pasta
1 Onion, chopped
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 Red Bell Pepper, chopped
1/4 dry sundried tomatoes, soaked in 1/3 cup warm water
6 or 8 oz Cremini mushrooms, sliced
2 Tofurky Italian Sausage (half of the package pictured above), sliced to 1/2 inch cubes, optional
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, drained, slice each olive into 2
2 Tbsp. Capers, drained
1/2 tsp. Fennel Seeds
1/2 tsp. dried Oregano leaves
1 tsp. dried red pepper flakes
1/3 cup tomato paste
1 cup vegetable broth
Salt and freshly grated black pepper
1-2 Tbsp. Olive oil
2 cups Broccoli Florets
1/2 cup loosely chopped flat leaf parsley
1/4 cup roasted pine nuts
1 lb. dry spaghetti pasta (any kind such as whole wheat, gluten-free, brown rice, or high fiber)
- Put 4-5 quarts of warm water in a pasta cooking pot on a high heat. Add a generous amount of kosher salt. It takes a while to boil this much water so I usually start it ahead of time, about 10 minutes before I start preparing other ingredients.
- Soak dry sundried tomatoes in 1/3 cup warm water before chopping all other ingredients.
- In a heavy cast iron pot (5 qts), heat olive oil. Add onions, garlic, and red bell pepper. Saute until onions are translucent.
- Add fennel seeds, oregano leaves, and dried red pepper. Stir and combine until fragrant.
- Add mushrooms and Italian Sausage. Stir and saute until mushrooms are soften. Add kalamata olives and capers.
- At this time, the pasta water should be boiling, add dry pasta and simmer according to the time on the package minus 1 minute. For example, if the directions say 8 minutes, simmer for 7 minutes. If it says 12 minutes, cook for 11 minutes only. The finishing of cooking the pasta will be with the sauce mixture in the pot.
- Drain sundried tomatoes, chop into pieces if necessary. Pour sundried tomatoes soaking water into the vegetable broth.
- Add sundried tomatoes pieces into the pot, stir.
- Add vegetable broth and tomato paste into the pot. Combine with the rest of ingredients and turn the heat down to low.
- When pasta is al dente, drain and add the cooked pasta into the pot. Combine with the sauce mixture until the broth is almost absorbed.
- Meanwhile, add broccoli pasta into the boiling pasta water, simmer for 2 minutes. When the broccoli reached a bright color, drain, and then add to the pasta mixture in the pot.
- Add chopped flat leaf parsley and taste for salt. Add more salt if necessary and some grated black pepper. Sprinkle with roasted pine nuts.
- Serve immediately.
Happy Valentine's Day!