Here we go again with some serious Italian food, because, well, Italian food is King. To all my pasta lovas out there, this one goes out to you.
Well, kindasorta. There actually isn’t any pasta in today’s recipe. How embarrassing. BUT WAIT, BEFORE YOU CLICK THE RED X AT THE TOP OF THE PAGE and write me off for good, what I do have for you is a lip-smacking-good sauce that you will want to shovel into your mouths, caveman style, with or without said pasta.
And that is kinda, no exactly, what I love about this sauce. It is so stinking versatile. You can serve it over pasta for some traditional Italian faire. You can make a killer lunch bowl by serving it over quinoa. Or you can serve it as a stew with some good crusty bread on the side. Or you could serve all three. Maybe that’s overkill. Maybe not. Sometimes food gets me too excited and I go overboard, but just sometimes ;)
Traditionally this sauce includes olives, capers, tomatoes and herbs. The briny olives and capers bring a brightness to the rich tomato sauce and the deep flavors are lightened and freshened up with lots of green parsley. I find that lemon zest pairs well with these flavors, and this recipe features a good dose of the flavorful yellow strands. I also added in chickpeas for protein, and because, well… DELICIOUS!
So delicious I was caught eating leftovers by the light of the fridge. No bowl. No manners. Just a girl, a spoon and some seriously delicious sauce. It was gone the next morning. #noregrets
Something else I love about this sauce. Two words: pantry staples. And that equals easy and effortless. If you have a well-stocked pantry, you likely will have all the ingredients necessary to make this dish, give or take an ingredient. And as I said before, you can basically serve this sauce with whatever carb you have on hand. Another pantry win.
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil OR olive oil
- 1/2 onion , chopped
- Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
- 3 garlic cloves , minced
- 1/2 cup tomato paste
- 1 - 28 oz . can crushed tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- Dash nutmeg
- 1 - 15 oz . can garbanzo roughly chopped
- 3 tablespoons capers , roughy chopped
- Zest of one lemon
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/3 cup minced parsley
- 3 tablespoons minced basil
Over medium-high, heat the avocado oil in a large skillet. Once warm add in the onion and red pepper flakes. Cook until the onion is softened and become translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook until fragrant, another 30 to 60 seconds. Add in the tomato paste and sauté, stirring often, for about 5 minutes or until the tomato paste is very fragrant and has darkened in color. Add in the crushed tomatoes, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook for 30 minutes, adding water if the mixture becomes too dry.
Once simmered, add in the garbanzo beans, Kalamata olives, and capers. Simmer, covered, for another 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon zest and juice, honey, parsley, and basil. Serve over pasta or your favorite whole grain.