I spoke a little of how we were making more of an effort to buy and support locally in my post here. I loved the comments I received – it’s always great being able to start an interesting conversation and hear views of others who I wouldn’t normally get the chance to speak with about such things.
One of the conversations that started was around the importance of trade in our society, and the fact that for some people it’s not always possible to buy locally. While I live in an area where local produce is plentiful, I also appreciate the fact that many people don’t live in places that have access to as much local produce. For those people, it’s essential that they are able to source produce which has been grown elsewhere. Not only does this mean that that community has access to good that they may otherwise not have, it also allows for industry and jobs in the area producing the goods.
While we choose to buy local where possible, there are certain things that just don’t grow in our climate or aren’t produced locally. And as such, there is a place in our pantry for these items.
One imported item we always have on hand is good quality Italian dried pasta. Growing up in an Italian family, the importance of the quality of pasta and olive oil was drilled into me from a young age. So when I received an email from Pasta Garofalo asking if I’d like to try some of their pasta – and after reading a little into the company and their pasta – I jumped at the chance. I’ve sampled a few of their whole wheat varieties, made of high quality, organic durum wheat and have been impressed with both the flavour (I used to argue with my family when I was younger that even though all made of the same ingredient, different shapes of pasta taste different, and I will still argue that fact!) and perfect texture. I’ve always been a little sceptical of whole wheat pasta, but this has definitely made me rethink that, especially the fettucine, and the parpadelle, which I used for this recipe. I could eat this stuff for days on end and not get tire of it.
They also do a traditional semolina variety, as well as a gluten free variety which I haven’t tried, but if their whole wheat range is anything to go on, I imagine it would be pretty darn good!
Pasta is definitely soul food for me. There is something about it that makes me instantly happy, and brings back happy memories of making pasta with my Nonni (grandparents); Of patiently passing the pasta through the machine until the right thickness was reached, when it was then cut into shapes; Of hanging the pasta over broom sticks suspended by chair-ends until every usable inch of the kitchen was draped in golden strands of fettuccine; Of the house filling with the smell of rich pasta sauce slowing cooking away on the stove top. While unfortunately this scenario exists now only in my memories, the fact that a good, home-cooked bowl of pasta can instantly bring back these memories and fill my soul with warmth, to me is what food is really about.
– MAKE IT YOUR OWN –
- I like this sauce best at it’s simplest, but you could always add other vegetables to the roasting process (I added a little squash the other day which melted together with the tomatoes beautifully). And though I haven’t done so here, I don’t think you can go wrong when adding olives to any pizza or pasta dish.
- I love parpadelle here – as I mentioned above, all pasta shapes taste differently! ;) That said, it would work with any kind of pasta. It would also make a lovely sauce to serve over another grain such as rice, millet or couscous.
- For some added protein, you could stir some tuna through the sauce to make a version Pasta al Tonno – one of my mothers specialties when growing up
- I’m not a fan of spicy sauces, but definitely add some chilli here if you wish – a sprinkle of dried chilli flakes would really give this pasta a kick!
- 10 large tomatoes, quartered (or 5 large and about 12 cherry tomatoes)
- 6 garlic cloves, crushed but still in their skins
- 3 - 4 Tbsp olive oil, separated
- 3 Tbsp baby capers
- 1 Tbsp fresh thyme
- 250g Pasta Garofalo Parpadelle pasta
- Salt, pepper
- Preheat oven to 190 C || 375 F
- Grease an oven proof pan with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Lay the tomatoes out in an even layer (depending on the size of your pan, you might need to use a second one). Scatter the garlic cloves on top, and sprinkle with some salt (around 1 - 2 teaspoons) and drizzle with another tablespoonT of the oil.
- Bake in the oven for 30 - 40 minutes. The tomatoes will start to break down, and then edges should start to slightly brown. In the last 10 minutes of cooking, add the thyme and capers.
- Once cooked, remove from oven and squeeze the garlic out of it's skin. Mash well with a fork, and then roughly mash the garlic in with the tomatoes. This should create a thick, chunky sauce. Taste at this stage, and add extra salt if needed.
- Cook the parpadelle according to the packet directions.
- Toss the cooked parpadelle in with the tomato mixture, and drizzle with another tablespoon or two of olive oil if desired.
- Serve topped with freshly cracked black pepper and Parmesan cheese.
This post was sponsored by Pasta Garofalo. All thoughts and comments however are my own, and have in no way been influenced by any third party.