I am very fond of pasta in any form especially the wheat one. For this recipe I have used the Colavita Whole wheat pasta.
It’s now six days to my laser surgery and almost four and a half to the RD surgery. My eyes are healing beautifully and to assist their healing I wanted to do something therapeutic, something with colours, spices, veggies and herbs. This recipe seemed perfect for the occasion. A lovely dinner for three. Mom, Kid 1 and me. Main course complimented by chickpeas Mediterranean salad and rounded off with scoops of vanilla ice cream with fresh mangoes and homemade fresh cherry sauce. I will be putting up the recipes for the other two dishes as well.
The cook is given an off and I am in my kitchen saturated with the various colors and aromas. It is a place I love to be doing what I love most. I made the sauce with those awesome looking juicy red bell peppers, plum tomatoes , garlic and red onion. Perfect combination for a summer meal. Of all the bell peppers Yellow is my favorite in summer but the nicely charred red one tastes delicious with this pasta.
2 Red bell Peppers – Charred , skinned and chopped
One medium size red onion – finally chopped
Tomatoes – 400 4m charred, skinned and puréed
Garlic – 4 cloves (roasted)
Fresh coriander leaves – finely chopped 4 table-spoon
Salt and crushed Pepper – to taste
Parmesan cheese – for garnish (freshly grated)
Penne whole wheat pasta – 2 cups boiled and drained (spiral, fusilli, spaghetti, macaroni , farfalle or any other pasta of your choice will also do.)
Extra virgin olive oil – 2 table-spoon
To make this full flavor pasta dish :
1. Char the bell peppers till black ( wash the bell pepper, dry and apply oil all over it before putting in on grill or flame. char them from all sides properly), skin and chop them very fine . You can slightly turn them in mixer too. Just enough to make a pulp. (to skin place the charred pepper in a paper bag for 5-10 min and let them sweat. it becomes easier to peel them)
2. Roast the garlic and squeeze the pulp out from paper. mash and keep aside
3. Boil the wheat pasta till al dente in salted water to which a little oil has been added, drain and keep aside. Pasta should feel firm, not crunchy. It should break easily in half. (You can follow the instructions on the packet too)
4. Place a saucepan on medium heat and add Olive oil. once warm add the roasted garlic and onion. Saute them till onion becomes translucent.
5. Add the tomatoes a charred bell pepper and stir so that all the ingredients mix properly.
6. Cook the sauce for a while on low heat till it becomes thick in consistency . I don’t like pasta floating in a soup like sauce. Add herbs and spices, salt and freshly crushed pepper.
7. Fold in the cooked pasta into the sauce till each penne is coated with the sauce.
8. Turn off the heat and cover for a minute or two.
9. Take out in a serving dish and garnish with freshly chopped coriander, basil ( your choice) and freshly grated parmesan cheese. I don’t like my pasta cheesy so I go lighter on cheese. It kind of mars the other flavors imo:)
10. Serve hot.
The mild smoky sweet taste of roasted bell pepper, the tangy sourness from tomatoes and the flavor from herbs will really this a hit with everyone.Roasted garlic is one of my weaknesses so I tend to add it to many of my pasta preparations.
I served it with the chickpeas salad and made another version by tossing in the salad into the pasta. The crunchy yellow and red bell peppers, raw onion and tomatoes along with soft chickpeas enhanced the taste of the dish.
You can make any number of variations with this pasta by adding grilled sausages, chicken, meatballs etc.
This is the most satisfying comfort food I have ever had.