Meatless Monday

I like to play with recipes. I like to find a recipe, deconstruct it and put it back together again. Today’s meatless Monday recipe is one of those cases where I started with a recipe, used it for inspiration and then changed it up.

Spaghetti with Roasted Tomato, Shallot and Garlic Pink Sauce

1 1/2 lbs Roma Tomatoes
6 cloves garlic
2 large shallots
3/4 cups cottage cheese (regular or reduced fat)
3 Lemons
1/8 cup pine nuts
Crushed red peppers
1 lb spaghetti (whole wheat or regular)
Fresh Basil

Preheat oven to 425 F, quarter tomatoes and shallots. Peel papery skin off of garlic, but do not peel. Toss tomatoes, garlic and shallots in 2 TBS of EVOO and salt and pepper. Spread on a baking dish and bake for 50 minutes or until vegetables are slightly charred. Remove from oven.

Place vegetables into a blender with 1/2 cup of water, juice from the lemons, cottage cheese, garlic (squeezed out of skins) and pine nuts. Add additional water until you reach the desired consistency. Dump sauce into the pan and add crushed red pepper and salt to taste. Heat/simmer for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile cook pasta according to directions. Once pasta is done, drain and toss with desired amount sauce. Plate and garnish with capers, fresh basil and freshly shredded parmesan cheese.

This sauce has a pretty pink color, is slightly smoky, sweet and has a little heat. The cottage cheese adds a kick of protein and creaminess. The lemon adds a bright note and the basil and shallots balance the dish nicely.

I served the pasta with roasted brussels sprouts with walnuts and balsamic along with a salad of romaine, grapes, feta and walnuts with home made honey mustard dressing. The brussels sprouts I tossed in EVOO, crushed garlic, salt and pepper. I roasted these in a 425 oven until they were tender and began to turn golden. I finished them with toasted waluts and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.