Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Spaghetti with Tomatoes, Black Olives, Garlic, and Feta Cheese

Monday night is the definitely the night when I have the least ambition to make dinner. No matter how relaxing Sunday might have been and how much sleep I might have gotten, I am always dragging when I get home from work on Monday. I've also probably eaten too much less-than-healthy food over the weekend, so Monday demands a quick, healthy, preferably vegetarian meal. I adapted this recipe, originally intended to feature the fresh tomatoes of the summer, to use canned tomatoes, the best option in winter when only long-travelled anemic tomatoes can be found in supermarkets. Despite a lack of meat, this is a really satisying meal where salty olives and cheese mingle beautifully with roasted tomatoes and fresh parsley, accented perfectly by unexpected vinegar-y pops of capers. With a nice side salad and glass of wine, this meal is the perfect remedy for the frustration and exhaustion that all-too-often comes with a return to work on Monday.

Spaghetti with Tomatoes, Black Olives, Garlic, and Feta Cheese
adapted from Food and Wine
serves 4

3/4 pound whole wheat spaghetti
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
One 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, fire-roasted if possible
1/2 cup Kalamata or other black olives, pitted
3 tablespoons drained capers
3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
1/4 pound feta cheese, crumbled

1. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the spaghetti until just done, about 10 to 12 minutes. Drain.

2 .Meanwhile, in a medium frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add tomatoes, and cook, stirring occasionally, until flavors are blended and sauce is warm, about 10 minutes (or really as long as you like-reduce the heat if you'd like to simmer the sauce for a long time).

3.  A few minutes before serving, add olives and capers and cook until warmed through. Season to taste with salt and pepper, add parsley and cooked pasta and toss well to coat. Divide pasta between 4 bowls or plates and crumble one-fourth of the feta cheese over each. Serve warm.

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