Monday, June 6, 2011

Roasted Red Pepper Penne

Today I tried another recipe from my friend Jacy's blog. Of course I modified it a bit to suit our family but it was basically the same. You can find her recipe here. I love pasta, and I love roasted red peppers so I figured this was a sure fire hit. It was delicious, and while I tend to stick with the original recipe to start I will likely make some additions next time I make it. I will add more heat next time by adding some red chili pepper flakes, and I may try less fennel or an entirely different herb. I liked it, but my daughter was iffy of the fennel.

5 red peppers, seeded and chopped
1 large onion, chopped
about 3/4 of a head garlic, peeled, whole cloves
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons of fennel seeds
Salt and pepper
a couple handfuls of baby spinach
(dried red chili pepper flakes to taste)
1 and 1/2 boxes of smart pasta penne

Pre heat your oven to 425 F
Place chopped red peppers, onions and whole peeled garlic cloves in a bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt pepper and fennel seeds. Spread evenly on a foil lined baking sheet and place in the oven for about 45 mins or until tender and starting to turn colour, stirring it around once to make sure they are cooking evenly.

While the veggies are cooking, start a big pot of salted water boiling.

Once the veggies are done, put them in a food processor and puree them with a little water if necessary. As soon as it is pureed, throw in a few handfuls of baby spinach. You could leave them whole, or tear them up or if you need to be more sneaky you could whirl them in the food processor with the sauce and call it parsley. But you didn't hear that from me ;-) I also added a Tbsp of fresh parsley at this point because I love parsley but its not really necessary. I would also add some dried red chili pepper flakes here next time, and perhaps some balsamic vinegar (although I didn't add it this time)

Cook your penne in lots of boiling, salted water (any starch should be cooked with salt in the water) when the veggies are almost done.

If you start your penne on time, just keeping the lid on the food processor should be enough to keep the sauce warm until it's time to mix it together, If not, then keep your sauce warm on the stovetop in a sauce pan, and wait to toss in the spinach until the pasta is almost ready. You don't want to really cook the spinach, just warm it and wilt it a little.

Drain the pasta, add it back into the pot, and dump the pureed pepper sauce on and mix it up. I served it with fresh Parmesan shavings. Shredded mozzarella might be nice for a change.

This was really good. Next time I think I will add some balsamic vinegar to the sauce, and maybe some roasted zucchini  as well, which I would roast, but not puree.

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