Whole Wheat Penne Pasta In Charred Red Bell Pepper, Tomatoes And Roasted garlic Sauce


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.

Ingredients :

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.

Enjoy!

Recipes : Spicy Roasted Potatoes


I love potatoes; you can spin magic with this simple veggie. Roasted potatoes are my favorite and the aroma arising from a potato roasted over a campfire can make our mouth water even as you read about it. Roasting any vegetable brings out its natural sweetness.

I love to eat the basic roasted potato with just pepper and salt but one can experiment with various spices and churn out some exotic wonders.

Potatoes are healthy and are loaded with carbohydrates, vitamin B, C, potassium and protein, fiber and iron. The amazing thing is they can keep you slim. They are low in sodium, virtually fat free and easy to digest.

If you are creative and imaginative, the choices are unlimited for cooking potatoes. Trivia facts affirm that potatoes are second in human consumption only to rice. I am not surprised. Eating your potato right can actually help build muscle, and lose weight.

Here are two great recipes for roasted potatoes from my kitchen and I am all of you will love to have them more than once.

1. SPICY OVEN-ROASTED POTATOES

These potatoes are crisp on the outside and fluffy inside. The key is to have them at just the right size, coated with just enough oil, and roasted in a red-hot oven.

INGREDIENTS

1/8 cup Olive oil

1 tbsp. minced garlic

1/2 tsp. Dried basil

1/2 tsp. dried marjoram

1/2 tsp. Dried dill weed

1/2 tsp. Dried thyme

1/2 tsp. Dry Oregano

1/2 tsp. Dried Parsley

1/2tsp. Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

1/2 tsp. salt

4 large Potatoes, peeled and cubed

METHOD

Preheat oven to 475 degrees F (245 degrees C).

In a large bowl, combine oil, garlic, basil, marjoram, dill weed, thyme, oregano, parsley, red pepper flakes, and salt. Stir in potatoes until evenly coated. (You can use a zip lock bag for mixing all the ingredients by putting all the herbs and potatoes in it and rubbing it nicely from the outside).

Place potatoes in a single layer on a roasting pan or baking sheet.

Roast for 20 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, turning occasionally to brown on all sides.

Remove from oven and serve with lime wedges.

2. GRILL ROASTED SPICY POTATOES


Ingredients:

Six Even Size Potatoes

1tbsp. approx.15ml olive oil

1 tbsp. roasted Garlic 15ml

1 cup shredded Mozzarella 250ml

180 ml – Salsa Sauce

1 cup approx. 250ml- Dairy Sour Cream

1/4 cup -chive cut into 16cm pieces as garnish

1 tbsp. finely chopped jalapeno chili

Ingredients for Roasted Garlic

One head Garlic

Olive Oil

Fresh Thyme

Pepper

Method:

Wash and scrub clean the potatoes well and prick them all over with a fork.
Wrap the potatoes in an aluminum foil.

Preheat the BBQ grill to 300F/150C and roast the potatoes for 40 minutes or until tender. (Check with a toothpick) Remove potatoes from grill, unwrap, and slice them in half.

Scoop the flesh out of the potatoes leaving approximately inch (1.27cm) of the flesh around the sides and allow cooling.

Brush them with olive oil and season with salt and pepper or any other spices and herbs of your choice.

Place the spiced up potatoes on well-oiled preheated medium high grill for 8 minutes flesh side down or until golden and crispy. Remove when done.

Lay the potato, skins out in a row, and drop a dollop of bottled (or home made) salsa in each one followed by sour cream and chopped jalapeno and roasted garlic.

Add shredded mozzarella cheese and top up with chopped chives.

To Make Roasted Garlic


Remove top of garlic exposing just the top and prick the top with a fork.

Drizzle with olive oil and pepper, fresh thyme and wrap in foil.

Place them over low heat on a preheated BBQ and cook for approximately 15 minutes or until tender.

Remove from heat, peel a clove and smash with a fork.

Serve hot with lime edges.

Some Tips:

It is essential to have the oven fully preheated for proper cooking if you are making roasted potatoes at home.

Whether you are roasting whole potatoes or potato cubes, the size should uniformed. I prefer baby potatoes as they as easy to eat and look wonderful.
Use potatoes that are fairly clean, firm and smooth and avoid those with wilted, wrinkled skin, soft dark areas, cut surfaces or slightly greenish in appearance.

One can use many combination of herbs and spices like rosemary, theme, basil, parsley, pepper, marjoram, garlic, and fenugreek, crushed dried curry leaves or roasted cumin etc.

Use olive oil for spraying the potatoes for best results.

You can add veggies like roasted bell pepper, corn, onions as add ons with the basic roasted potatoes.

Enjoy the goodness of potatoes and spice up your life with these spicy tangy recipes.