The crazy holiday time is about to begin. With so much to do, important things fall through the cracks and we find ourselves scrambling at the last minute. One of those very important things that get forgotten during this time is ironically, dinner. Yes, with all that menu planning, shopping and decorating, essential every day to-do’s get pushed to the side.
I learned early on. Even before I got married, that prepping dinners a week at a time during this chaotic time is a must. Casseroles, soups and pastas are great make-ahead dinner ideas to get one ready for the holiday rush. All you have to do is label and freeze in family or individual portions for those evenings taken up by endless gift wrapping.
One of those dishes that signify the arrival of the holidays in my family is Veracruz style spaghetti, or espagueti a la veracruzana. Usually prepared around this time of the year. This dish is Based on the traditional Veracruz-style cooked fish and calls for European ingredients such as olives and capers in a garlicky tomato base. Full of tasty tang and made with soy oil, this vegetarian dinner will please everyone in your family. Plus, it tastes 10 times better the next day when reheated because the flavors have enough time to meld well together.
Soybean oil is one of the most versatile ingredients in my pantry. The oil has a neutral flavor that helps me create some of my favorite traditional meals without compromising taste. You’ll be able to distinguish those savory tomatoes, olives and capers that make this dish so flavorful.
Veracruz Style Spaghetti
7 ounces spaghetti pasta
3 tablespoons soy bean oil
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 onion, chopped
2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
3/4 cup tomato sauce
12 green olives
3 tablespoons capers
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
1 cup white cooking wine
1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 jalapeño pepper (optional)
Cook pasta according to package instructions. Set aside.
In a large saucepan, heat soy oil over medium heat. Add garlic and onion and cook for 2 minutes or until tender. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, and capers. Stir to combine and cook for 2 minutes more. Add bay leaves, oregano and cooking wine; stir until all ingredients have mixed.
Lower heat and add pasta. Stir, evenly coating pasta with sauce. Cook for 5 minutes until heated through.
Top with fresh cilantro and a jalapeño on the side (optional).