Chez Keith’s Magic Marinara on Penne

Here is one from our former webmaster, Keith, that has its roots in a dish prepared by his Italian neighbor when he was growing up. She made this dish as a casserole but he has turned it into a pasta sauce. He’s made it hundreds of times for his family who still enjoys it to this day.


    1 – 28 oz. can peeled
    plum tomatoes
    1 medium (2″ diameter)
    yellow onion, chopped
    4 garlic cloves,
    smashed and chopped
    3 zucchini, coined or sliced
    (leaving the skin on)
    8 Kalamata olives,
    pitted and sliced (optional)
    1/4 c. large Italian capers (optional)
    1 tsp. sea salt
    1 large tbsp. dried sweet basil
    1 lb. bag of dried penne rigate
    1/3 c. hearty dry red wine
    2 tbsp. of olive oil


    To make this correctly the pasta should be done when the sauce is ready, so first fill a 4 qt. pasta pot with water and 1 tbsp. sea salt.
    Put on the stove and bring to a boil.
    Prepare tomatoes by taking the tomatoes from of the can and slicing them long and short to create half moons. Put them aside in a bowl along with the juice from the can.
    When the pasta water is ready add 1 tbsp. of olive oil and wait a few moments and then add the dried pasta. Stir occasionally so pasta doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot.
    In a large sauce pan, saut? garlic and onions with olive oil on medium-high heat. Stir often so the garlic doesn’t burn.
    When the onions are soft and transparent add the chopped zucchini. Stir for a couple of minutes.
    Add the tomatoes, wine, olives and capers (optional), sweet basil, salt.
    Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to simmer.
    When the pasta is done, drain and add to the finished sauce in the sauce pan.
    Stir so the pasta can soak up the sauce.
    Garnish with fresh grated parmesan cheese.
    Enjoy with a bold dry red wine and good company.

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