Friday, January 16, 2009
This meal is good. I realize "good" is one of those adjectives you are taught in elementary school is much better substituted with something like "unsurpassable." But if you ask me, when it comes to food, "good" is a very high compliment. Granted, it totally depends on the tone of your voice when you say it. For instance, if I gave my husband a plate of lovingly prepared food and he were foolish enough (which he isn't) to say "eh, it looks pretty good." Well, that's not the good kind of good. But if it's a "wow, honey, this is GOOD." Now that's what I like to hear.
If you like roasted red peppers, this is your dish. The presentation is a bit unnecessary, but it was kind of fun to precariously balance the roasted pepper on the plate to try to make it look restaurant-fancy. One of the peppers toppled over immediately. But it's all about trying, right? And it tasted fantastic. I think next time I'll just chop up the peppers and toss them into the mix.
Adapted from Everyday with Rachael Ray
serves 2, with enough leftover pasta for a third
about 1/3 pound short whole wheat pasta (I used rotini)
2 large red bell peppers, tops cut off and reserved, seeds and ribs discarded
1 tablespoon EVOO, plus more for drizzling
2 jarred roasted red peppers
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 sprig rosemary, stems discarded and leaves chopped
1 14.5 ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1 generous handful of baby arugula
2 slices of fresh mozzarella
2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan
1. Preheat oven to 425. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain and set aside.
2. While pasta water is coming up to a boil, trim the bottoms of the bell peppers, without making a hole if possible, so that they stand. Season inside with salt and black pepper. Turn the peppers bottom side up in a baking dish, set the tops alongside and drizzle with EVOO. Roast for 20 minutes.
3. In a food processor, puree jarred roasted red peppers. In a large skillet (while the pasta is cooking), heat 1 tablespoon EVOO over medium heat. Add shallot, garlic, crushed red pepper and rosemary. Cook until softened, 5-7 minutes. Add pureed peppers and fire-roasted tomatoes; season with salt and pepper and stir. Simmer for 5 minutes.
4. Add the cooked pasta to the skillet and toss. Add arugula and cook until wilted.
5. Preheat the broiler. Turn the peppers upright and fill with pasta. (If they don't fall over, you deserve a medal. I had to prop mine up against each other). Top with mozzarella slice and grated parmesan. Broil until cheese is melted, 2 minutes. Serve with the tops and extra pasta on the side.