Roasted Red Peppers!

31 Oct

I love bell peppers.  I have tried growing them in the summer time with some success.  And I do not have a green thumb, so they are hardy plants!  The fresh taste of bell pepper strips are so good alone, on sandwiches, or with a platter of veggies and dip.  I also enjoy the taste of the peppers when roasted.  They are a snap to roast too.  In a pinch, though, roasted peppers from the jar work in some recipes.

I have been craving roasted red peppers, trying to figure out how I wanted to prepare some.  Since the chill of fall is in the air, I also wanted comfort food…in the form of pasta.  How could I use those 2 things together to satisfy my craving?  I decided to make roasted red pepper pasta sauce.  I threw in some grilled chicken too, and that added to the warm smokiness of the dish.

This time of year bell peppers are pretty expensive, and not all that beautiful, at least at the east coast markets.  Taking that into account, I chose to use roasted red peppers from the jar for my pasta sauce.  I tossed a recipe together that ended up being delicious.  A very nice change from the typical pasta sauce that had a good nutritional value.

Bell peppers, with their vibrant colors, are good for you.  They are low in sodium and cholesterol.  They are an excellent source of vitamins A, K, C, B6, potassium and fiber.  The pigment in colored bell peppers are a fantastic antioxidant, which may help protect our cells from damage.  Bonus! Yay!  That keeps our bodies in better shape, is great for our skin, and may even help hold off on some of those dreaded wrinkles!  It is a win win situation.  So let me share my recipe with you.

Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

2 T. Olive oil

1 T butter

1-2 cloves garlic, chopped fine

2-3 green onions, chopped.  Include the green tops too!

2 jars roasted red peppers, drained and roughly chopped

1 cup vegetable stock

2 c. cream, warmed slightly

1 T. flour

Pinch of red pepper flakes to taste-I used about 1/4 teaspoon.

1 T. basil

1 t. salt

Heat the olive oil and melt the butter in large pot.  Add the onions and garlic.  Saute for 3-4 minutes.  Add the roasted red peppers.  Turn the heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes,  stirring frequently.  Pour mixture into blender, being careful of the hot mixture, and blend until smooth.  Add back to the pot, and add the vegetable stock, red pepper flakes, basil and salt.  Heat.  Stir the flour into the cream with a fork, and slowly whisk mixture into the to red pepper sauce.  Heat and let simmer for another 20 minutes.  In the meantime, heat water for pasta and cook.  Mix pasta and sauce together, and enjoy!

As I said, I added some diced grilled chicken to the sauce and it was delicious, but this sauce can certainly stand on its own.  It is a delicious vegetarian dish.  I also had cooked broccoli with lemon, and some crusty french bread to round this meal out.  It was a good meal for a cool evening, easy to prepare, and packed with flavor.

The plate was beautiful, something I always consider when plating a meal.  I don’t want to serve baked chicken, cauliflower and mashed potatoes.  Boring!  A plate should look appetizing, and the colors should be a vibrant as possible.  The red pepper pasta, broccoli and rich bread made for a pretty presentation.  Bon appetite!

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