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Vegetarian Pennette

  • 40 minutes
  • Easy
  • First Courses
This is a great vegetarian pasta recipe. The raw vegetables give the dish a nice crispy texture.

Ingredients: Per 4 servings

  • ¾ lb mezze penne
  • lb tomatoes
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 1 onion
  • 1 leek
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • Hot chili peppers to taste
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • salt to taste

Preparation:

Peel the tomatoes, remove the seeds and cut into a small dice.

Clean the carrot and leek and cut into matchstick-sized pieces.
Reserve half of the matchstick vegetables and finely chop the other half.
Wash and chop the celery, onion and garlic. Heat a little oil in a pan and add the chopped vegetables, but not the matchsticks. Once soft, add the tomatoes and season with salt and chili pepper.

Continue cooking for ten minutes over low heat. At the end of cooking, puree the pan contents and keep warm.

In the meanwhile cook the pennette and drain when al dente. Toss with the vegetable puree and toss with the raw matchstick vegetables and a little olive oil.

Food History

Carrots are most likely originally from Afghanistan and derive from a wild plant that has been cultivated in the Mediterranean for millennia. Images of carrots appear in the frescos of Pompei, proving that the Romans knew and grew carrots even if they were once much more bitter and hard in texture. In fact, carrots were once consumed more for their therapeutic qualities than for their flavor. According to ancient records, carrots were used to heal scars, ease sore throats and, according to Pliny, as an ingredient in love potions. It wasn’t until the Middle Ages that people began to enjoy the sweet flavor and tender consistency of carrots.

Did you known that...

That carrots were once violet? The orange variety, in fact, could not be found in Europe until the 18th century when, according to legend, Dutch agronomists came up with the orange variety in honor of the reining dynasty of the Orange.

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