Sunday, February 1, 2009

Rigatoni Mare Monti

By Vesna Vuynovich Kovach
Around the Table
in Brava Magazine
February 2009

Related article: The Education of Anne: How a school principal from Sheboygan learned to cook Sicilian – and run a restaurant

Here’s a single restaurant serving of one of the most popular dishes at Sole Sapori. “Shrimp, mushrooms, garlic and fresh tomatoes sauteed in olive oil and served with rigatoni on a bed of fresh spinach.” The shrimp is a quintessentially Sicilian ingredient, and the marinara is a Vitale hallmark. “This is a pure Vitale,” she says. But you’ll have to sub in your own favorite red sauce – Sole Sapori’s marinara is a family secret!

Rigatoni Mare Monti

Mare Monti Sauce:
1–2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon capers
1 clove garlic, crushed and chopped
2 mushrooms, sliced
1 fresh Roma tomato, sliced
pinch fresh oregano
3/4 cup marinara or pasta sauce
5 large, raw shrimp

For the plate:
several fresh spinach leaves
rigatoni pasta, freshly cooked
Pecorino Romano (grating cheese)
lemon pepper

Heat a small sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add oil, capers and garlic. Sauté for a minute or two to meld the flavors. Increase heat to medium and add mushrooms, tomato and oregano. Cover and cook about 5–8 minutes, or until tomatoes and mushrooms are soft enough to chop with a flat-edge wooden spatula. Add marinara and stir.

Meanwhile, line your plate with a bed of fresh baby spinach. Place a serving of pasta atop spinach.

Just before you’re ready to serve, add shrimp and cook through until shrimp are pink and done, taking care not to overcook them. Top the pasta with the sauce. Finish with some freshly grated Pecorino Romano and a dusting of lemon pepper. Enjoy!

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