PASTA WITH ROASTED RED PEPPERSIngredients
2 large bell peppers, any color,roasted, peeled and seeded with their juice
1 large tomato, chopped
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup Kalamata or Gaeta black olives, pitted, and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf Italian parsely
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pound pasta of your choiceDirections
Cut the peppers into narrow strips.
In a large bowl, combine the peppers and their juice with the tomato, oil, olives, parsley, garlic and oregano.
Add salt and pepper to taste (remember, olives may be salty.)
Cook the pasta al dente and drain, reserving some of the cooking water.
Toss the pasta with the pepper mixture, adding a little of the reserved cooking water of the sauce seems dry.
Serve immediately. Makes 6 servings. Notes:
The key to this dish is the fresh roasted peppers. The canned/bottled stuff will not do, you need to make it FRESH!! We like red bell peppers the best, so we just use those. We can get a 6-pack of red bell peppers from Costco (bell peppers are expensive!) We do go ahead and triple the recipe and use all six peppers. My philosophy is if I’m going to go through all that trouble to roast and peel the peppers, then I’d better make a lot and have good leftovers! If you plan to triple as well, then here’s a quick tip for you, two cans of black olives pretty much comes out to three cups.
There are many different methods and schools on how to roast peppers. Feel free to do what you are most familiar with, however, try to save the juice! If you don’t know how to roast peppers and don’t feel like researching how to, here is how I do it. Mind you, I’m not saying this is THE way to do it, that this is just the way that works best for me and this dish:
1. Core peppers at the top only (keeping the bottom helps preserve the juice.)
2. Rinse out the seeds and tear out any leftover sinewy bits.
3. Lightly brush the peppers with olive oil on all sides.
4. Place all peppers in the same position (laying flat on side or sitting up if possible) in a baking pan.
5. Place on medium to medium high rack under broiler (hi).
6. Watch for the peppers to begin to blacken. It will depend on the peppers how long this takes. Last night it took about 30 minutes per side.
7. After the first side has blackened, take out pan and pick up each pepper, drain the excess juice into a prep bowl, then place it back in the pan on the opposite side. I found that draining the juice during the roasting helps save it from being evaporated away.
8. Repeat until each side is well blackened.
9. Don’t let cool, immediately place steaming hot peppers into a glass dish and seal tightly. Cover under a towel and allow to cool for a hour or so.
10. Once cooled, CAREFULLY begin to strip the skin off of the pulp. Don’t worry if the pulp is black (that’s good!) What you are trying to remove is the papery charred skin, whether it’s black or red. I find that using my thumb to squeeze off the pulp helps sometimes. Take your time with this, or you’ll lose a lot of pulp or get some papery bites when you eat your meal later.
11. Pour remaining juice left in glass bowl into your prep bowl.
In the meantime while the peppers are cooking, I go ahead and chop everything else (tomatoes, olives, etc) and add to the prep bowl. That way, they can start marinating in the olive oil and pepper juice as it is being added. Yum!!
We like this dish with long noodles, such as thin spaghetti, vermicelli, or angel hair. You can serve the roasted pepper mixture room temperature over hot noodles. If you are going to eat it as leftover, you can serve it cold (makes a good summer pasta!), but I prefer to either set the mixture out to get to room temperature, or to nuke it just a touch to get the cold edge off.