October 03, 2009

Roasted Red Bell Pepper Wheat Pasta

Oh, the many ways to make pasta. I religiously read Smitten Kitchen and Sassy Radish food blogs and came across this from Smitten Kitchen. When I’m busy at work and get home late, I want simple, clean dishes that also don’t dirty up a sink-ful of pots and pans. So easy, I omitted a few things, added a few things and needed to add a little protein – ground turkey.

In an effort to cook a little healthier (ha, and pasta’s the answer right?), I started using wheat pasta and maaaaaan, I’m telling you, just not as good. I don’t fall into that dreamy, content state after eating a really good meal, which this SO much better without the wheat pasta. Not saying this dish was not good – it was, but I’m always looking for that oh so perfect dish.

I’ll be conflicted the next time I make pasta. Do I be healthy with wheat pasta and still enjoy a good meal or be naughty use regular pasta to enjoy a great meal? Probably the latter =)

Roasted Red Pepper Wheat Pasta
Adapted from
Smitten Kitchen
(4 cooking items: Big pot to cook pasta, pan to cook ground turkey, food processor and bowl to mix)

1 pound of small wheat pasta
¼ pound ground turkey (I wanted to add some meat to this dish so feel free to omit for veggie dish)
Pinch of dried basil (If you decide to go veggie, don't need this)
Pinch of dried parsley (If you decide to go veggie, don't need this)
Pinch of garlic powder (If you decide to go veggie, don't need this)
3 red bell pepper, roasted, skinned and seeded
1/4 cup olive oil
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 medium shallot
1 garlic clove
Pecorino cheese (I just had this in the fridge so use whatever cheese you have or you can completely omit)
***Per Smitten Kitchen, you can also add any type of veggies - peas, broccoli, corn, etc.

1. About 1.25 hours before you want to eat, wash and completely pat dry the bell peppers. Do not cut! Lightly pour olive over them (just a teensy tad) and put in 350 degree oven for 1 hour. I like to turn them at 30 minutes to make sure they are cooked all the way around.

2. 45 minutes into this, start boiling water to cook the pasta. Take the ground turkey and I mix it with the basil, parsley, garlic powder and salt and pepper. Tad of olive oil in pan and cook the turkey completely. Make sure to drain any of the oil when done.

3. Once the bell peppers are done, take then out and let them sit for 5 minutes. I like to cover them with plastic or aluminum to trap the steam which also helps you easily pull the skin off. Complete peel and deseed the bell peppers.
4. Put them in a food processor with the peeled garlic clove and shallot. Give it a good blend. Then add in the red wine vinegar, salt and pepper. I love the taste of red wine vinegar so I tend to put more than what folks like to eat. I think this would be fantastic with some champagne vinegar too. Give another good blend and then slowly pour olive oil into the food processor. This should be a creamy, delicious dressing now. 5. Now, putting it all together! Take a big whopping bowl and put the pasta (drain well), ground turkey and then pour the dressing in portions to see how much/how little you want to add. Sprinkle pecorino cheese on top. Next, take a big whiff of the pasta, grab a glass of wine and enjoy.

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