Pasta with sauce veracruz

Yield: 1 Batch

Measure Ingredient
4 larges Garlic cloves; unpeeled
2 larges Yellow onions
2 mediums Carrots
4 \N To 6 fresh New Mexican green chiles
2 larges Red sweet peppers
2 pounds Ripe Roma tomatoes
1½ \N To 2 tb. olive oil
1½ \N To 2 c. rich chicken, beef or vegetable stock
1 cup Sun-dried tomatoes*
2 teaspoons Chopped fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons Chopped fresh sweet marjoram or mild oregano
2 tablespoons Chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 teaspoon Cumin seeds; toasted coarsely ground
2 teaspoons Coriander seeds; toasted coarsely ground
2 tablespoons Small capers
¼ cup Tequila; reposado or anejo type
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
1 \N To 1 1/2 lbs. zucchini thinly sliced
\N \N Salt and pepper; to taste
12 ounces Ziti, rigatoni, fettucine or linguine**
2 tablespoons Chopped fresh cilantro
½ cup Toasted pine nuts or walnuts
½ cup Freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese (opt'l.)

*Cut into very thin strips (soften in hot water if dry packed).

**Cooked according to package directions.

Wash the fresh vegetables and pat dry. Do not peel or cut. Rub them with some of the olive oil and place them on a well-oiled baking sheet. Bake at 450 F. until the skins are browned and the insides are softened. Remove vegetables from the oven as soon as they're done, letting the rest cook as long as needed; the onions and garlic will require 30 to 40 minutes.

While the vegetables are roasting, heat 1½ cups of the stock to boiling, pour it over the sun-dried tomatoes, and let them stand.

When the vegetables are cool, squeeze the garlic cloves from their skins, remove the skin from the onions and peppers, and seed and core the peppers. Roughly chop the vegetables.

Place chopped vegetables in a large skillet that has been coated with olive oil and heat, stirring often. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and their soaking liquid, rosemary, sweet marjoram (or oregano), parsley, cumin, coriander, capers and tequila. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, or until very flavorful. Add more stock if needed to thin the sauce. When nearly ready to serve, add vanilla extract and sliced zucchini to the sauce, cooking just until brightly colored. Season with salt and pepper. Serve over the pasta, tossing lightly; garnish with cilantro, nuts and grated cheese.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings.

Hill and Barclay write: "Vanilla is the secret ingredient in this cross-cultural sauce, which is also delicious served with grilled or roasted meats, poultry or seafood." From Madalene Hill and Gwen Barclay's "Vanilla: From an Orchid Comes a Bean with a Rich, Versatile Flavor..." article in "The Herb Companion." Dec. 1995/Jan. 1996, Vol. 8, No. 2. Pp. 39-40.

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