A few weeks back Josh and I ran the Salt Lake City half marathon together. To carb-load before the race I picked out the most beautiful pasta from Tony Caputo’s and paired it with a spicy tomato sauce from a food and wine cookbook.
The recipe for the sauce is actually from one of our favorite restaurants, Christina’s, which is in Sun Valley, Idaho. I altered her recipe a bit but the basics are the same. You can read more about Christina’s here and read more about the charming town of Sun Valley here.
The pasta came highly recommended to me from many of the employees at Caputo’s. The brand of pasta is Maestri and I’ve also used it in Wild Mushroom Lasagna. I learned that the more texture a pasta has the more flavor it holds from the sauce you pair it with. This pasta is extraordinarily rough with lots of tiny crevasses for the sauce to soak into. To cook the pasta we did have to break the noodles in half because, most likely, no one has a pot big enough to hold them.
2 zucchini, cut into 1 in’ cubes
1 spicy Italian sausage (or substitute zucchini and sausage for 2 medium eggplant, cut into cubes)
1 1/4 cup olive oil
1 Tb kosher salt
4 cups of diced tomatoes
8 piquillo peppers (buy canned in abodo sauce)
2 Tb minced garlic
2 cups of tomato sauce
1 cup of fresh basil leaves, cut in strips
pinch of hot red pepper flakes
2 Tb fresh oregano leaves
2 Tb chopped Italian parsley
1 lb of spaghetti (I used Maestri’s tall noodles)
3-5 thin slices of prosciutto (cooked like you would cook bacon until crisp) *optional
Place zucchini in a large skillet, heat 1/4 cup of olive oil an high. Cook until crispy on one side then turn. Repeat until lightly crisp. (If using eggplant, first cut then sprinkles with salt and let rest in a colander for 1 hr before cooking). Remove zucchini from pan and cook sausage. Set sausage and zucchini aside.
In a wide pot heat 1/4 cup of olive oil, add diced tomatoes and peppers, and cook on high, stirring, for about 3 minutes. Lower heat, add garlic, and cook for 2 more minutes Add zucchini, sausage, and tomato sauce, and cook, stirring gently. Add basil, red pepper flakes, oregano, and parsley.
In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook spaghetti until al dente. Drain, reserving 2 cups of cooking water. Ass pasta to sauce and cook over high heat 2-3 minutes, adding a little pasta water if needed to keep everything juicy. Serve with shaved parmesan and crispy prosciutto.