I went to bed last night, and the world was the same as always…and when I woke up this morning, I had my VERY OWN domain! My loving husband stayed up till who knows when last night, moving everything over and doing whatever you do when you switch domains. Isn’t that sweet? So welcome to www.poco-cocoa.com, everybody! Please change your bookmarks, and please keep reading!
Oh, and before I forget…I ate olives last night! Olives! Me! I decided they would be my food phobia no more. Normally, I wrinkle my nose at their putrid smell as we walk past the olive bar at Central Market, and I can smell olives on Justin’s breath from a couple of yards away. It really bothered me, though, having this one food that I didn’t like, when there are so many wonderful dishes that include them. I know that they add their own flavor and texture to dishes, that they make Mediterranean plates more lively, and that a fresh mozzarella, tomato, arugula, and olive paste sandwich (like those I occasionally make for Justin) is probably one of the best sandwiches in the world. The only other foods that I had avoided were meat (But no more! Meat for me, please!) and bleu cheese (Which I tried at the food and wine festival, and I actually liked!), but those are off my hate list now.
So last night, I made a pasta dish with olives in it. I knowingly put olives in my food, and served it to myself. And it was good! I liked how the pungency of the olives filled my mouth, how I could almost taste them on the roof of my mouth. I still have a ways to go…after about halfway through my dish, I started picking them out (“this one’s too big,” “they’re a little too salty”), but I’ve taken the first step. Olive lovers, make way for your newest member! Or, olive likers, maybe. Or olive toleraters. Or maybe, those of you who don’t cringe at the sight of the little smelly dots on your pizza. Anyway, I’m working on it.
Ziti, Artichokes, and Olives with Spicy Tomato Sauce
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 (28-ounce) can plum tomatoes, drained and chopped
- 1 can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
- 2 tablespoons dry red wine
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup Kalamata or other brine-cured black olives, pitted and chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil or parsley leaves
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, cover, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and tomato paste and cook, stirring, until the garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, artichokes, wine, and red pepper flakes. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the olives. Season with salt and pepper to taste and simmer while you cook the ziti.
Cook the ziti in a pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 10 minutes.
Drain the pasta and place in a large, shallow serving bowl. Add the sauce and basil and toss to combine.
Makes 4 (huge) servings.
Adapted from Vegan Planet by Robin Robertson.