Cooking Tip of the Week: Keeping a bit of reserved pasta water on hand rather than dumping it all down the drain is always a good idea. You never know when you’ll need this ingredient to thin out the pasta sauce you’re making!
Food for Thought: How do you suppose sun-dried tomatoes are made? If you guessed by leaving them out in the sun, you’re right! Sun drying is a technique that preserves food. Raisins are also made this way! Sun-dried tomatoes are made by leaving them out in the sun with a preservative such as salt or sulphur dioxide for up to ten days! During this time, most of the tomatoes’ water evaporates, so they lose about 90% of their weight and their sweet flavor becomes even more concentrated.
Family Dinner Conversation Starter: What’s your favorite pasta shape? Why?
1 pound whole wheat pasta
½ cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes in oil
½ cup chopped yellow onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic (~1 large clove)
12 ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained, rinsed, and roughly chopped
Together: Cook pasta according to package directions until al dente.
Adult: Drain pasta, reserving about ½ cup of pasta water.
Together: While pasta is cooking, heat a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add sun-dried tomatoes with their oil to the pan and stir for about 2 minutes. Add the onions and sauté 2 to 3 minutes until translucent. Add garlic and stir 30 seconds until fragrant. Add roasted peppers and stir together for 2 minutes more. Add chopped rosemary (if using) and stir another 30 seconds. Remove from heat.
Together: Transfer pepper tomato mixture to the bowl of a food processor, add chickpeas and ricotta cheese and puree until mostly smooth. (There may be a few chunks of pepper and tomato.)
Together: Drizzle a bit of olive oil in bottom of pasta pot and return drained pasta to pot over a low flame; toss to coat with oil.
Kid: Toss pasta with sauce, adding reserved pasta water if necessary to thin out the sauce. Serve hot.