No big song and dance tonight, just a look at what we had for supper: January Pasta. It’s a little more Juice for Life than Classic Italian. Biba Caggiano, please turn away.

Things start out on the straight and narrow, mind you, with a big sauce made of fresh whole chopped tomatoes:

plus a pint of grape tomatoes cut in half and one nice big white onion, all of it sautéed in olive oil and a teeny bit of butter. Lots of salt and pepper. No basil. I love this sauce, and my new thing is to cut the acidity with a little bit of maple syrup instead of brown sugar; even Wayne concurs that it’s outta sight. And you get such a satisfyingly orange-coloured sauce from chopped whole tomatoes (rather than that sickening blue-red mess that the canned stuff can look like):

While the sauce was simmering, I set the oven to 375 degrees, then chopped and roasted carrots and kale (tossed with salt and olive oil).

You have to watch the kale, because it crisps up fairly quickly, much more so than the carrots. I removed it when it looked done (slightly burned, actually. It should have come out at 10 minutes or so and been turned over every five minutes. I was nursing the baby in another room, Fairport Convention turned up loud. I forgot the kale existed) and spread the carrots out and let them carry on in there till they were brown and caramelizey.

I kept the veg warm in the oven while my pasta boiled, then piled my bowl higher with veg than with pasta. In post-Newfoundland-binge January days, this is how I roll. Look at this picture of the finished product:

Does that look like the kind of dish that could put 300 pounds on Ciuccio Sentimentino? No way. It’s full of oven-sweetened vegetables and practically makes pasta a virtuous choice. And it doesn’t taste like one.

The pasta itself is organic kamut fettuccine by Artesian Acres:

Don’t get me wrong. The classic Barilla penne in my cupboard would have been so much better, texturally, that I don’t even want to talk about it. But as I said, in Newfoundland we ate like starved, demented pregnant lumberjacks for three solid weeks (more on that tomorrow). So for now, we’re staying away from white refined stuff. And the kamut pasta is decent on the protein (13 grams in 85 grams of pasta).

I served it with a simple green salad tossed with walnuts and an easy lemon-and-oil vinaigrette: juice of half a lemon, salad-spoon tong full of olive oil, lots of salt and pepper. Now that’s a nice Italian girl!

And that’s January Pasta. Lots of chopping on the carrots and all those damn tomatoes. Wayne says to do it in the Cuisinart next time. I certainly prefer my dear little serrated Global knife when it’s a lazy Saturday and the baby is marathon-napping and a Roches album is playing and I never want the songs and the chopping and the moment to end. You can taste that in a dish. But, my brothers and sisters, you can taste the ire of a rushed woman, too. Chances are, I’ll give Wayne’s method a spin.

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