One of my FAVORITE vegan recipes comes from the cookbook, Vegan With a Vengeance. The recipe (which I have altered slightly, thereby making it MORE convenient) is for a pasta that is coated with a sauce made from Kalamata Olives, Red Onions, and Grape Tomatoes. The cookbook is for over achievers who want to make their own from scratch sauces, which when I have the time I am totally down for.....but since I am at work 8.5 hours a day, try to go to the gym 4-5 times a week and have other commitments, making sauces from scratch doesn't usually fit into my busy life. I originally found this really good olive tapenade from Trader Joe's (I can never quite escape from TJ's, can you say addict?), but today I found a Kalamata Olive Tapenade at Ralph's that has been imported directly from Greece (I read the label, grown and made in Greece!), so I instantly began craving this amazing pasta dish. So, it's now on the menu for tonight (or last night at this point)! Like I said before the recipe is very simple. The sauce is as follows....
Kalamata Olive, Red Onion and Tomato Sauce w/Pasta-2 servings
1/2 cup Kalamata olive tapenade (homemade or jarred)
1 large red onion, sliced into half moons
1 container grape/cherry tomatoes
1 tbsp olive oil (or I sometimes just use cooking spray)
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
Cooked and drained pasta (I usually use Farfalle or Penne)
In a large saute pan heat olive oil, add garlic and brown slightly. Add onion slices and tomatoes (keep tomatoes whole, sauce will be done when they start to burst). Heat through until tomatoes begin to burst, add Kalamata tapenade and blend well. (I usually save about 1/2 cup of the pasta water and add it at this point, it makes the sauce saucier). After sauce has been well blended, add cooked pasta and stir to mix together, making sure to get all the good bits off the bottom of the saute pan. Sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan cheese (if you like) and serve.
For those of you have more time (I know, I know....this is not usually the case for anyone) here is the from scratch recipe for the tapenade.
1 1/2 cups kalamata olives, pitted
3 tbsp capers, drained
2 cloves garlic, chopped
handful fresh parsley
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried tarragon
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
Combine all ingredients in blender or food processor. The from scratch recipe makes 4 servings.
Also, if you noticed the saute pan in the picture is one of my NEW Rachel Ray pans....