Every week on Food52, Caroline Wright creates simple, civilized recipes for Food52 that feed four -- for under $20, in under 20 minutes.
Today: Caroline shares an unexpected pantry staple -- and a recipe to use it in.
Passata -- puréed tomatoes, usually uncooked -- is one of those ingredients that I always keep in my pantry, and I'm surprised that it isn't more common. It lends that bright, tangy flavor of the quickest sauces made from summer tomatoes, so it feels special, somehow, to eat it on a cold winter's day.
This recipe is a pilaf masquerading as a risotto, using the swiftly simmered Israeli couscous pasta in lieu of rice. The result is warm and comforting, reminiscent of a fine risotto and ripe tomatoes.
1 1/2 cup passata (from a 24-ounce bottle)
2 cups chicken broth
6 sprigs fresh oregano, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for serving
1 cup Israeli couscous
1 garlic clove, chopped