Top | Vegetarian Main Dishes

Pasta Raphael Nouvelle

(recipe, Carrie Floyd)

primary-image, l


The recipe for Pasta Sauce Raphael in The New Basics Cookbook was retooled from the original Silver Palate by its authors, Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins. In turn, I have lightened and altered the recipe into a family favorite. To further lighten it, you could substitute frozen artichokes or artichokes packed in water. I have made this with both more and fewer artichokes, and it's good either way, though my daughter believes "there's no such thing as too many artichokes." I like to serve this sauce with any kind of nook-and-cranny pasta — bow ties, wheels, shells — and freshly grated Parmesan on the side.


  1. 2 to 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  2. 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  3. 1 tsp. dried oregano, freshly crumbled
  4. 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  5. ¼ tsp. red-pepper flakes
  6. 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  7. 1 can (28 ounces) plum tomatoes, with their juices, chopped
  8. 1 Parmesan rind (see Note, below)
  9. 1 large jar (7 to 8 ounces) artichoke hearts marinated in oil, drained and chopped
  10. ¼ cup chopped fresh basil or Italian parsley
  11. Salt to taste
  12. Honey (optional)
  13. 1 lb. dried pasta, cooked
  14. Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving


  1. Heat enough olive oil to cover the bottom of a large sauté pan. Cook the onions, oregano, black pepper, and red-pepper flakes over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft.
  2. Add the garlic and cook for another minute, stirring, then add the chopped tomatoes, tomato juice, and the Parmesan rind; simmer for 25 minutes.
  3. Add the artichoke hearts and basil or parsley, and simmer for another 5 minutes. Fish out the Parmesan rind, then season the sauce to taste with salt and honey (if the sauce tastes too tart, I add a teaspoon or two of honey).
  4. Serve with freshly cooked pasta and freshly grated Parmesan cheese.


Cook's tip: Designate a container in your refrigerator to hold the rinds from spent wedges of Parmesan cheese to use in recipes such as this one.