Make this dish ahead and save precious time for dinner later

April 27, 2013|Scott Anderson | Culinary Passion

Looking for a tasty dish that's easy, full of flavor and great for the family? I give you Sicilian baked pasta gratin.

The best part of this recipe? You can make it ahead two days before and keep it in the refrigerator before baking.

Scott C. Anderson is associate food service director and chef with Shepherd University dining services in Sheph-erdstown, W.Va., and Chef Ambassador to the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board.

Sicilian baked pasta gratin

3 tablespoon olive oil

2 peppers, red and yellow cut inch strips

1 onion, sliced

2 cloves, minced garlic

Red pepper flakes to taste

1 to 2 pound can whole plum tomatoes, drained

12 Calamata olives, pitted

1/4 cup capers, rinsed

1/4 cup fresh basil

3 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and black pepper

1 pound thin spaghetti

1 cup grated Romano cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

In a 12-inch saute pan heat oil. Add peppers and onions and cook till tender. Add garlic and pepper flakes. Cook for a few additional minutes.

Bring a pot of water to boil.  Put tomatoes, olives, capers and basil in a food processor and pulse coarsely, or dice finely with knife, pressing caper with the flat side of the knife. Add tomato mixture to the skillet and mix and reheat. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Cook pasta until al dente, drain and add to sauce mixing in cheese. Turn into a lightly oiled casserole dish and bake for 30 minutes.

Serves 6 to 8.

Cook's note: You can assembly the dish and refrigerate up to two days ahead.

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