MAIN DISHES PASTA

GREEN GRAPE TOMATO AND WHOLE WHEAT ROTINI PASTA

GREEN GRAPE TOMATO AND WHOLE WHEAT ROTINI PASTA

Green grape tomatoes and whole wheat rotini pasta tossed with a sweet garlic and pineapple-lemon peanut-smoked almond sauce with fresh cilantro. Topped with capers, lemon, powdered sugar and fried Panko crumbs!

Makes 11 cups

1 c. roasted salted peanuts, not dry-roasted

1 c. whole smoked almonds

1 c. unsweetened 100%, not from concentrate, pineapple juice

2 t. Worcestershire sauce

1 t. liquid smoke

4 lg. garlic cloves, peeled and coarsely cut

2 t. onion powder

1 t. mild paprika

1 t. dry mustard

1 t. salt

¼ c. canola oil

2 T. sesame oil, light not dark

16 oz. pkg. whole wheat rotini pasta

2 c. green grape tomatoes, cut from tip to tip into 4ths

2 fresh lemons; grate whole lemons over medium holes of grater for the lemon zest (rind), then cut each and half and squeeze for the juice; strain

½ c. loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves

powdered sugar

rinsed capers, as garnish

1/2 c. or more if you like, Panko crumbs, fried in a little extra virgin olive till golden, oil for topping

extra virgin olive oil for garnish

Combine peanuts and almonds in food processor and process till evenly mealy.

Add pineapple juice, Worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke, garlic, onion powder, paprika, dry mustard and salt to processor. Process till as smooth as possible, about 1 minute.

Add canola oil and sesame oil, then process again till as smooth as possible. Set aside.

Prepare large pot of boiling salted water to cook rotini pasta in.

Add pasta, and stir. When pasta returns to full boil, add the cut green grape tomatoes. Cook till pasta is tender, then drain pasta and tomatoes and return to empty pasta pot.

Salt pasta and tomatoes to taste.

Add lemon zest, lemon juice and cilantro. Toss to distribute evenly.

Now pour peanut-almond sauce over pasta and toss to evenly coat.

Mold onto individual serving plates, using a 1 cup measuring cup or custard cup. Invert onto plate and lift off cup.

Sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar by placing a little into a small wire mesh strainer and waving it over each mold.

Top each serving with a few capers, followed by about a tablespoon of fried Panko crumbs on each.

Drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper. Serve.

Notes: This is a dry dish. It’s not a soupy sauce. It clings to the pasta like cheese.

If desired, serve with pureed applesauce or pureed canned pears. I simply puree applesauce in a blender to achieve a really smooth texture, or a can of drained pears to do the same. It presents more like a smooth sauce than the traditional applesauce texture. Very nice, and not much work. Simply spoon a couple of tablespoons alongside the pasta mold. Your guests will be impressed by the presentation as well as the wonderful flavor and texture contrast to the pasta.

Caramelized onion as a topper elevates this dish, but isn’t necessary.

This sauce can also be spread on various toasted breads, and rolls.

No green grape tomatoes? Use red, but instead of adding directly to the pasta as it cooks, put them in a wire strainer and dip in the boiling pasta water for only about 15 seconds, then remove – just till they begin to soften.

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