Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Whole Wheat Pasta with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Tonight we came home from work with Growling Tummies, as usual :D. I really wanted to fix a quick dinner, but I am so bored with all the regular choices..same old daily routine. So I decided to spice it up a bit. But, all I had on my hand were a few mushrooms, a jar of Roasted peppers and baby spinach. You would think I would have a stocked up refrigerator on a Monday from the weekend groceries...umm yeah what happened there? Seriously..I don't know..we even went grocery shopping...but I guess I was just focused on getting my baking goods for the Holidays, I completely forgot about basic everyday stuff. :)..Of course, I am going to share with you what I bake ^-^

Anyways, long story short..I was short on ingredients :P. But, I remembered the jar of Roasted Peppers I picked up at a local produce market. I love that place, they have the freshest produce in town and also support local growers and businesses. Grrrrrr8..gotta appreciate such places. Back to the Roasted peppers..well I thought the quickest meal to put together would be pasta and let's combine that with Roasted Pepper sauce of some kind. So I was on my way to look for some recipe that could do that for me, and I just found the perfect one..Behold The Pioneer Woman...Love Ree's website and instantly fell in love with the recipe. I made my own version of it, but was a great inspiration, easy and so so quick. The taste of freshly roasted peppers has to be uber delicious, but the jarred ones did the trick for us :)..I am sure to roast some peppers at home the next time I need them, just like Ree has described in her recipe, considering I don't forget to buy groceries, despite at a grocery store..LOL ;)

I use pasta to feed veggies to my husband. If I mix it up with pasta 2-3 cups of spinach is a piece of cake :D, makes me happy. So go ahead and use all sorts of vegetables you like or even meats or seafood. The pasta dish with the sauce is so light yet filling, looks gorgeous and tastes fresh and delish...surely Growling Tummies approved :)

Whole Wheat Pasta with Roasted Pepper Sauce Ingredients (yields generous portions for 2, and doubles up beautifully)
Adapted from Pasta with Roasted Pepper Sauce by The Pioneer Woman
  • 2 Cups Whole Wheat or Regular Pasta (I use Organics Whole Wheat Rotini)
  • 2 1/2 Tablespoons Dry Roasted Pine Nuts** (I roast raw Pine Nuts on a low flame myself)
  • 2 Whole Roasted Red Peppers (I used jarred..you can roast 'em yourself)
  • 1/2 Medium sized Onion or 1 Shallot; finely diced
  • 4-6 cloves of Garlic; finely diced (I used 6 cos we love garlic, you can use less depending upon your choice)
  • 2-3 cups of Baby Spinach (You can use vegetables of your choice)
  • 3-4 medium sized Crimini Mushrooms (You can definitely use chicken, shrimp, or meat of your choice too)
  • 1/8th Teaspoon Red Chilli powder or Paprika Flakes (optional)
  • Pinch of Turmeric powder (optional)
  • 1 Teaspoon EVOO and more to sauté
  • 2 Tablespoons Milk or Cream** (I used Reduced fat milk)
  • Salt to taste
  • Black Pepper to taste
  • Grated Parmesan for serving
  • Water to boil pasta
  • Bring a pot of water to boil and add pasta and a tablespoon of salt (don't add the salt until water has boiled, it stops the water to reach it's boiling temp)
  • In a small pan dry roast the pine nuts on low flame and toss it into a blender cup
  • In the same pan add some EVOO to sauté the diced onion and garlic on a medium low flame (I will not include how much oil, cos I use oil sparingly. Feel free to add as much as you like for sautéing)
  • Once the onion is transparent, about 4-5 minutes, add the garlic and sauté about 2-3 minutes more
  • At this point I add the chilli / paprika and turmeric, but this is absolutely optional. Being an Indian I am used to throwing these spices just in about everything I cook. This is my seasoning, but feel free to season it with salt and black pepper.
  • Transfer the sautéd onion and garlic mixture to the blender cup also. Now it's time to add the roasted red peppers
This jar of Roasted Peppers is preserved in water is only 10 calories a piece..Bingo!!
  • Add 1 teaspoon of EVOO to the mixture and Blend the ingredients to form a smooth paste
  • I do not add salt to it because I like to make adjustments right at the end of my cooking. That way I know exactly how much you need, and you can avoid consuming too much :)
Look at the gorgeous color!!! So pretty!
  • Keep the lid of the blender tightly secured on the blended mixture. I don't like exposing it to air, just a teeny tiny pet peeve :P
  • While the pasta was still happily boiling away, I began finely slicing the mushrooms. Fine sliced mushrooms melt away when cooking, and I really love that :)
  • In a different wider sauté pan, at this point you can start working on your vegetables or meat
  • If using vegetables sauté them with a pinch of salt and black pepper. If using meats make bite sized pieces of meat and cook them with some salt and at least a couple of tablespoons of the sauce. I like meats to catch the flavors and actually be a part of the final dish. Shrimps can be tricky, try not to cook them for too long or they will get chewy. Surely cook them with the sauce but only until they are half done, cos shrimps continue to cook even when taken off the pan, definitely set them aside.
  • While veggies or meats are cooking, drain the pasta, and reserve 1/3rd cup of the pasta water, just in case
  • Add it to the pan and throw the entire sauce into the pan. Add the 2 tablespoons of milk or cream and mix well.
  • Add the baby spinach and mix well.
  • Cook only for an additional 2-3 minutes on a low medium flame, just until the baby spinach wilts. This gives the sauce to cook through and stick to the pasta as well.
  • Taste and adjust the salt and pepper. I just needed 2 tablespoons of the reserved pasta water, but that's it, so yeah eyeball it to your liking.
  • Add freshly grated parmesan cheese on top and serve (I added more black pepper when serving)
The sauce is a burst of flavors in your mouth with pine nuts making their way right at the end of it all, and it tastes so so fresh....Yummmay. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. Happy Pasta Night!! :)

 **Note: Pine Nuts can be subbed with Walnuts in almost all pasta sauces that call for Pine Nuts. I have even made Basil Pesto with Walnuts instead of Pine Nuts, and it tastes great.
**Note: I also wouldn't miss the milk. Unless you are adding a good amount of cream like the original recipe, I really don't think it matters. The blended sauce is so thick and creamy I really didn't need more cream.

No comments:

Post a Comment