I bought some beautiful black mission figs today and thought they would be perfect for a salad, but it being so cold and grey by the time I got home I forgot all about the salad, (Gordy will be happy). Today is a day for comfort food, and that means and a big bowl of spaghetti.
I really don't have a lot of time to spend cooking today so having staples on hand made this easy to prepare. I always have spaghetti, olive oil, garlic, cheese (I used goat cheese but use any cheese you have), and fresh herbs in my fridge. I like to make my sauces with a tin of tomatoes but this time I tried a different method. Of course I started my sauce with onions and garlic, then I added a big squeeze of Mutti Tomato Paste, cooked it a few minutes with a pinch of red pepper flakes, salt and pepper and thats it! The Mutti Tomato Paste added a rich red colour and the fresh tomato taste brought this sauce together. The combination of goat cheese, sweet figs and tomato paste made this simple spaghetti a not so simple bowl of comfort food on a very grey day, (Gordy is very happy).
I love how easy the Mutti Tomato Paste is to use. Just open the tube and squeeze out as much or as little as you need. Keep in the fridge until next time. No waste! I have added it to stews and soup for rich colour and deep flavour. Thanks Mutti for another great pantry staple.
Spaghetti with Garlic, Oil, Tomato Paste, Figs and Goat Cheese
This is an easy and quick sauce, everything was prepared while the spaghetti cooked. This recipe makes 2 big servings.
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp tomato paste, (I used Mutti Tomato Paste)
3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
dash of red pepper flakes
1 tsp salt
1/2 pound dried spaghetti, I used whole wheat
3 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley or basil
2 tbsp goat cheese
zest from 1/2 a lemon
3 fresh figs, cut in half or quarters, depending on size
drizzle of balsamic vinegar
freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
2. Place the figs, cut side up, in a small baking dish. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar.
3. Roast in the oven until soft, about 10 to 15 minutes. When done, set aside.
4. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add pasta, stir and cook until al dente.
5. While the pasta is cooking take a large pan and add the olive oil, garlic, tomato paste, pinch of red pepper flakes and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is golden, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
6. Drain the pasta, add it to the pan with the sauce and toss well, then add the lemon zest, freshly ground black pepper and cook a minute more or until the pasta is warmed through.
7. Finish with the goat cheese, figs and a big handful of fresh parsley or basil, serve immediately.
If you want to make this vegan just leave out the goat cheese and add a handful of your favourite nuts, like walnuts or hazelnuts.
Use black or green figs.
If you don't have goat cheese, try any soft cheese like feta.
Happy cooking and eating and thanks to Mutti for sponsoring this recipe.