Experimenting with sweet spices is an interesting way to stretch your culinary repertoire into more exotic places. For instance, would I ever have thought of adding 2 teaspoons of cinnamon to a pasta dish? Of course not – but luckily, I subscribe to The Splendid Table’s newsletter, and this one happened along.
I changed the recipe up a bit – most notably with the pasta. I couldn’t find hollow pasta at my regular grocery store and I’m so over dealing with Whole Foods and it’s crowded parking lots and aisles. So I made due with linguine. I also didn’t break my pasta off into pieces, like pasta-roni. Instead, I left it long, so I could curl it around my fork. It’s one of my favorite things about pasta – the fork-twirling.
This truly is one of those hearty all-in-one meals – you have your vegetables, meat (chopped rotisserie chicken) and pasta all in one. The tomato sauce is spicy and enhanced with white wine and that warmth that comes from ground cinnamon. I also sprinkled feta cheese over mine, which added a nice, cold flavor contrast (but you won’t see the cheese in any of the pictures).
Very good, if you can get past the weirdness of all that cinnamon.
Greek Cinnamon-Tomato Pasta
- Good-tasting extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1/3 tighty-packed cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, coarsely chopped
- Salt and freshly-ground black pepper
- 1 heaping tablespoon tomato paste (put your leftover in ice cube trays to freeze and use next time – that’s what I do!)
- 6 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1-1/4 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 2 c. diced tomatoes in their juices
- 1-1/2 to 2 cups diced cooked chicken (good way to use leftover chicken; optional)
- 1 pound linguine
- 1/2 c. feta cheese (or goat cheese)
Bring the salted water to a boil and while that works, work on the following:
Generously fill the bottom of a 12-inch sauté pan with olive oil and heat it over medium-high heat. Stir in the onions, parsley, and generous sprinklings of salt and pepper. Sauté the onions to golden brown. Then stir in the tomato paste, garlic, oregano, cinnamon, sugar, and pepper flakes. Turn the heat down to medium and sauté for 1 minute. Add the wine and cook for 1 minute.
Add tomatoes, raise the heat to medium-high and cook the sauce for 8 minutes, or until thick. Taste for seasoning, remove the pan from the heat, and if using the chicken, stir it in.
Drop the pasta into the boiling water. Boil, stirring often, for 8 minutes, or until the pasta is tender but still has a little bite. As the pasta cooks, reheat the sauce over medium-high heat. Once the pasta is done, drain it in a colander and add it to the sauce. Toss over the heat for a minute or more to help the sauce permeate the noodles.
To serve, pile pasta on plates with generous spoonfuls of the chicken and tomato mixture. Sprinkle with feta cheese (not pictured below).
As an end to this post, here is a picture of our little bonsai tree. I can’t remember who gave it to us, but soon this baby appeared on it. I think the baby came from a Mardi Gras King’s Cake. We keep them on the kitchen window. Grant moves him around the plant as if he wants a different view every now and then…
Enjoy, friends! xoxo