Super Spaghetti

It's a cold, rainy night. There isn't any way we're going out. But we barely have any groceries left either! Delivery? No way, creativity! Or maybe just resourcefulness.

With half a jar of Barilla Pasta Sauce (the best mass-produced jarred marinara sauce) but only buckwheat Asian noodles in the pasta department, I knew that I had some work to do to make an awesome dinner. These are the other relevant items I managed to scrounge up in our kitchen that helped me along the way: half of a red onion, a couple cloves of garlic, extra virgin olive oil, pitted kalamata olives, nonfat Greek yogurt, Smart Balance Olive Oil Spread Light, Salt, Pepper, jarred white horseradish and red wine vinegar. Nothing overly special. Oh yes, and there was just about a knob remaining of the truffle butter I bought a few weeks ago. So admittedly, that is special, but it was not the sole influence on my kicked up spaghetti sauce. Actually everything on my list was employed, and I felt good about making an awesome dish out of little more than stock ingredients.

I started out by sautéing the chopped garlic and chopped onion in some extra virgin olive oil, a knob of Smart Balance and some salt and pepper on medium heat until they were tender and translucent. I then put a heaping tablespoon of the horseradish into the pan and mixed it in very well with the flavor base so that it would cook up and add to the flavor. I didn't want it to overwhelm, just be there enough to add a little subtle, tanginess to the flavor. Once this was melted in, I added my knob of black truffle butter to the pan and let it get its deep, rich, earthiness into the flavor of the base as it melted. I was pretty content with the flavor and the aroma was amazing, but the pan needed to be deglazed a little bit so that I could get all the flavor out of the pan and into the sauce. So I added in a little more than a tablespoon of red wine vinegar and let it sizzle off the bits on the bottom. At this point the flavor was ready and I added in the Barilla marinara sauce and gently worked the flavor mixture through it as it gently warmed. Since my buckwheat pasta was cooking simultaneously, I took a small ladle of pasta water and put it in the pan to help the sauce meld. I also threw in a handful of pitted kalamata olives for a little more textural ingredient.

Now what was left? The Greek yogurt! I took a large scoop of this heavenly nonfat delight and gently mixed it into the sauce to add a little thickness and richness to the kicked-up marinara. What resulted was a gorgeous pinkish marinara sauce loaded with amazing flavor. It didn't even matter that I didn't have traditional pasta for it to go on – it was just as lovely over the whole buckwheat noodles. Was it the tanginess of the horseradish? The earthiness of the truffle butter? The spice of the vinegar? The creaminess of the Greek yogurt? Or the love? Well it was probably a worthy combination of all, but it was refined and worth documenting. So I'm documenting away. Well, not anymore, I'm through.

No comments: