Orecchiette with Tomatoes & Spinach (Nov 30)

On each episode of the NJTV series Pasta & Politics, host Nick Acocella invites a New Jersey political giant into the kitchen to talk politics and cook a meal together. New Jersey Senator Cory Booker and Acocella prepare a vegan dish on the November 30 program. Here’s the make-it-yourself takeaway!

Orecchiette with Tomatoes and Spinach Recipe

Uncooked orcchiette pasta

Uncooked orcchiette pasta. © Travis K. Witt


1 pound Orecchiette
olive oil
1 large white onion, sliced
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 inch ginger, finely chopped
2 large Jersey tomatoes, cut in eighths
3 ½ cups vegetable stock
3/4 lb spinach
Fresh Mint
Ground Nutmeg
Kosher Salt


Cover the bottom of a saucepan with olive oil.
Sweat the garlic, onion, and ginger – about three minutes on a medium-high oven — but do not brown.
Add the tomatoes, stock, basil, oregano, mint and nutmeg.

Bring water to a boil and then add pasta. Be sure it is all submerged in water. Reduce heat to medium low and cover.

Cook for eight minutes. Ignore the cooking directions on the package. The time specified is if you boil the pasta in several quarts of water.

Add the spinach to the pasta. Salt and pepper to taste and stir until spinach wilts.
Allow to simmer for several minutes until the pasta is al dente (firm, not soft). Taste it several times along the way until you have the proper texture.