I came up with this one night when it was my turn to cook at work. It isn't a timid dish. It's O.K. to adjust the flavors. This feeds four to six normal folks, fewer if they're firefighters.
HOT SMOKY PASTA
2 tablespoons heavy, fruity olive oil
2 large white onions, chopped
1 large head garlic, minced
6 large fresh tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 basket red cherry tomatoes, half of them halved, half of them diced
1 basket yellow cherry tomatoes, half of them halved, half diced
2 or 3 medium to large dried chipotle peppers, soaked in warm water until plump, then chopped
1/2 cup white wine
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
1/2 handful dried marjoram
1 bunch fresh basil leaves, shredded
2 cups non-fat mozzarella, shredded
Salt & pepper to taste
Cooked radiatore or penne pasta
In a heavy skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the onions, cover and sweat until translucent. Place the garlic atop the onions, add the tomatoes and peppers, salt and pepper. Simmer over medium heat for about 20 minutes, uncovered, until the sauce reduces and thickens. When the sauce has thickened, add the white wine, halved cherry tomatoes, rosemary and marjoram. Cook on full heat, stirring gently to reduce the wine and some of the water surrendered by the fresh tomatoes.
In a large bowl stir together enough pasta to feed your guests, the tomato sauce, and shredded cheese. Top with the diced tomatoes and shredded basil.
A NOTE ON CHIPOTLES: These are peppers which have been smoked and dried. It's their smoky flavor which makes the dish, combining nicely with the sweetness of the onions. If you can't find dried chipotles, canned will do, but reduce the amount by about one third. If you can't find canned chipotles, come visit me in California. I'll make this for you. E.S.