Mmm… Food


Red Pepper Pasta
September 8, 2008, 3:59 pm
Filed under: Cooking, Shopping
Red Pepper Pasta

Red Pepper Pasta

Red Pepper Pasta is a staple at our apartment.  We often plan it into our weekly menu because of its ease and tastiness.  It also seems to be one of versatility that can be shaped depending on what you have on your shelves or in your refrigerator.  So first the basic recipe, and then some ideas on how easy it is to modify.

Serves 4

Ingredients:
1LB Pasta – Penne or Rigatoni
3TB Olive Oil
3 Garlic Cloves – coarsely chopped
1 15OZ Can of Whole Tomatoes – Drained
1 12OZ Jar of Roasted Red Peppers – Drained
1TB Fresh Basil (1tsp dry) + more for garnish
1TB Fresh Oregano (1tsp dry)
4 Italian Sausage
4OZ Goat Cheese

Equipment:
Blender
2 Medium Pots – 1 for pasta, 1 for the sauce
Medium Skillet – for garlic and sausage

Pasta:
Prepare Pasta per instructions. We like to use Penne or Rigatoni. Of course any kind of pasta will work, but by using a pasta with some kind of hole in it and having it lined with ridges allows for the pasta to be well coated and co-mingle with the sauce.

Sauce:
In a medium sized sauce pan add 1 TB of Olive Oil over medium heat. Add chopped garlic and cook for 1 minute until aromatic.
To the Blender add, 1TB Olive Oil, Cooked Garlic, Can of Tomatoes, Jar of Roasted Red Peppers, Basil and Oregano, Salt and Pepper to taste. Blend
Transfer contents of Blender to sauce pan and warm sauce over low heat.

Meat:
In same sauce pan that was used for the garlic, brown the Italian Sausage in 1 TB of Olive Oil. Cut cooked sausage into bite sized pieces.

Add the warmed sauce, bite size sausage pieces and 3 oz crumbled goat cheese to the pasta. Mix thoroughly. Goat Cheese will start to melt.

Plate pasta in bowls. Top with additional thin slice of goat cheese and Basil leaves for garnish. Serve with a salad, we made one with raspberries, walnuts and blue cheese.

Odd tidbit: We spent a weekend in Madison WI this summer and decided to make this meal for the people we were hanging out with.  When we went to their local employee owned grocery store, Woodmans, we couldn’t locate any jars of roasted red peppers.  This seemed very strange, as this was a huge grocery store, and had a lot of different items including a variety of “Ethnic Food Items” (which is a whole other aside), but we couldn’t find them anywhere. I finally located them next to the marascino cherries?!?!  Not sure what the rationale was, but if you can’t find them in your canned goods items along with tomato paste and green beans, maybe this should be the next place you look 🙂

To mix it up a bit…

Change up the meat you add. Try adding grilled chicken. You can cook this quickly on an indoor grill like a George Foreman. Or add whatever leftover meats you might have had earlier in the week. I grilled some hamburgers earlier in the week and we still had one patty left. We cut it up and added it to the sauce, and it went along quite nicely.

Use fresh tomatoes instead of canned. My mother is growing Heirloom tomatoes this year and had given us a couple of them. We only had to use 1 for this go round, but it was a monster one (bigger than both my fists combined), so you may need 2 or 3 if the ones you have are smaller.

Add some fresh roasted peppers to the sauce. We had some leftover baby bell peppers from the baby shower so we cut these up and cooked them for a couple minutes. You can do this in the same skillet that you are going to use for the garlic, but be sure to cook the peppers almost completely before you add the garlic. The garlic doesn’t need much time at all and if it’s overcooked it will make your sauce taste bitter.

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