Monday, October 17, 2011

Spinach Linguine With Roasted Sweet Pepper Sauce


School's in. So, I've been making school lunches for the kids almost daily. Somedays they have fried rice, sushi rolls, gorditas, ham and cheese, mac and cheese, peanut butter or nutella sandwiches, and other days they have pasta. This is the only other way to get them to eat sweet peppers and asparagus as they dislike both vegetables besides sprinkling them on a pizza. I, on the other hand, like to use roasted sweet peppers in salad dressings, sandwich spread, and of course, pasta sauce.

Ingredients for 3-4 servings
8 small sweet peppers ( red, orange or yellow will do)
1 clove of garlic, chopped coarsely
1 lb of dry spinach linguine
1 shallot, chopped
1/2 cup of chopped asparagus
1/2 lb of sausage
1/2 cup of sour cream
1 cup of marinara sauce
2 cups of pasta water
1 egg, beaten (optional)
3 tbsps + 2 tbsps of olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

1. Cook the linguine according to its package's instructions until al dente (about 6- 8 minutes). Drain the pasta and set aside. Keep 2 cups of the pasta water as well.

2. Turn on the oven and set to broil at 500 degrees fahrenheit. Wash and dab dry the sweet peppers with paper towels. Rub 2 tbsps of olive oil all over the peppers. Place the peppers on a broiler pan. Broil one side for 8 minutes then turn the peppers to its other side and broil for another 8 minutes until charred. Remove pan and peppers from the oven. Let the peppers sit at room temperature for 10 minutes. 

3.Place the peppers in a gallon sized plastic bag and and seal the bag. Let them steam for 20 minutes in the bag before peeling the skin off. It should come off easily. Remove stems and seeds from the peppers as well. Avoid rinsing the peppers under running water as to preserve its flavors. Wet your hands with water and use your wet hand to clean off any impurities left on the peppers. Chop the peppers coarsely and pulse in a food processor with the garlic for 2 to 3 minutes. Set the pureed peppers aside.

4. Heat 3 tbsps of olive oil in a large saute pan over medium high heat. Add the shallots and saute for 2 minutes. Then, add the sausage and stir until cooked. Next, throw in the asparagus, the pureed peppers, the marinara sauce and 1 cup of the pasta water. Bring the sauce to a boil then turn down the heat to a simmer. Let the sauce simmer for 10 minutes before stirring in the egg. If the sauce is too thick at this point, add in the remaining pasta water 1/4 cup at a time until the desired consistency is obtained. Add the sour cream and the linguine. Stir the pasta mixture until all the pasta are coated with the delicious sauce. Season with salt and pepper before serving with a side salad or just by itself.

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