I love Giada de Laurentiis. She’s so endearing; shy and sweet but still passionate and smart. And she’s super cute, of course. I love Everyday Italian (and I mourn the fact that I never get to be at home to watch it during the day), and as soon as she started writing cookbooks, I started buying them. I have the first three of four – Everyday Italian, Giada’s Family Dinners, and Everyday Pasta – and it’s been very difficult for me not to buy her newest one (I’ll cave soon enough). Though the VAST majority of her food contains meat or dairy, much of it veganizes beautifully. For this recipe from Everyday Pasta, all it took was to leave off the cheese. I also used onion in place of shallot (it’s what I had) and added extra carrot, garlic, and spice. If you don’t have the book, you can view the original recipe here.
1 lb. whole-grain spaghetti
2-3T olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)
5T tomato paste
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried parsley
1 1/2 cups frozen peas, thawed
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook according to package directions. Drain, reserving 2 cups of the pasta water.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, salt, and pepper and cook and stir until tender, about 8 minutes, adding the garlic during the last 1-2 minutes.
Add the tomato paste and 1/2 cup of the hot pasta water. Stir to melt the tomato paste and create a thick sauce. Add the oregano, thyme, and parsley. Gently fold in the peas, adding more reserved pasta water as necessary (I ended up adding an additional 1/2 cup).
Fold in the spaghetti, and again add more pasta water if the sauce needs loosening.
I enjoyed this topped with a sprinkle of nutritional yeast. Stuck at home at dinnertime on a cold Saturday evening, it warmed me up magnificently. The use of tomato paste created a very deep, earthy flavor, and the pepper made it nice and spicy, perfectly in contrast with the sweet peas. It was attractive and delightfully elegant – not unlike Giada herself.
Yield: 6 servings. Per serving: 357 calories, 5.6g fat (trace sat), 67.8g carbs, 9.5g fiber, 13.8g protein.