With okra in season, why not prepare a delicious pasta dish for our upcoming July 4th celebration? While stewing the okra and tomatoes, the rigatoni pasta cooks in minutes – just add it to the okra in skillet. Enjoy and have fun!
Prep time: 8 minutes (for cutting okra, tomatoes & onion)
Cook time: 10 minutes (okra and pasta)
Serves: 4 to 6
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup chopped white or brown onion (1/4-inch pieces)
1 large ripe tomato, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
3/4 pound fresh okra, tips cut and discarded; flesh cut into 1/2-inch rings
1/4 cup white wine
1/4 cup water
salt and ground black pepper, to taste
1 pound Rigatoni pasta (or other preferred, short variety)
1. In a 12-inch skillet, heat the oil on medium-high setting.
2. When oil is hot, add chopped onion; stir-fry onion for 2 to 3 minutes or until it is translucent and turns light golden brown.
3. Stir in the okra; cover and cook on medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes.
4. After 1 to 2 minutes, stir in the wine; cover and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, bring a 4 to 5-quart sauce pot of water to a boil – keep water aside at a low boil.
6. After the okra and tomatoes have cooked 2 minutes, stir in 1/4 cup water, salt and black pepper.
7. Cover and stew the okra and tomatoes on medium-low heat for about 2 to 3 minutes.
8. Meanwhile, add the rigatoni to the boiling water; cook according to package directions – 8 to 10 minutes or until “al dente” (crunchy-tender).
9. While pasta boils, set the skillet with okra and tomatoes aside on a cold burner or on a countertop (this will ensure that it will not dry out).
10. When pasta has is cooked, drain it in a colander, reserving about 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid.
11. Bring the okra and tomato stew to a simmer.
12. When okra and tomatoes simmer, stir in the drained pasta and 1/4 cup of the reserved cooking liquid.
13. Stir and heat through on medium-high heat, reducing the liquid a little. If more pasta cooking liquid is needed, add 1 to 2 tablespoons more. NOTE: The pasta and okra mixture should not be soupy.
14. Divide the rigatoni, okra and tomatoes among 4 to 6 dishes. Ask guests to add some grated Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and some crushed pepper to their rigatoni dish (optional).
15. Serve this pasta dish with chilled Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio wine (both are white wines).
Text and Photograph ©2015 Nancy DeLucia Real