Last night, I experimented with a new pasta recipe along with smokey roasted bell peppers in the actual pasta sauce. It turned out really well, so sharing the recipe with you guys.
A. For Cooking Pasta
4 cups of pasta (any)
Water for boiling
Extra salt for cooking pasta
B. To Prepare Pasta Sauce
1 large size Roasted Red Bell Pepper (either roast it yourself or use store-bought jar)
1/4 cup of fresh San Marzano Tomatoes (use cherry or grape instead)
1/4 cup of heavy whipping cream or whole milk (use 2% milk if watching calories)
1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese (shaved or grated)
6-7 Fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon of sugar (I used raw turbinado)
Salt to taste
Crushed black pepper to taste
C. Cook the Veggies
1/2 of a squash (cubed)
1/2 of a zucchini (cubed)
1/2 of small green bell pepper (cubed)
4-5 San Marzano mini tomatoes (cubed)
1/4 cup of onions (diced)
3-4 garlic cloves (sliced)
1 teaspoons of red chili flakes
3-4 tablespoons of olive oil
Salt and crushed black pepper to taste
Method of Cooking (Six Steps)
Step 1: Cook the Pasta
1. Add lots of salt in a pan full of boiling water. Key to making good pasta is extra salt (just like in ocean).
2. Cook the pasta until al dente (meaning just little undercooked, so that after you add sauce the pasta will soak the liquid and cook to perfection).
3. Strain the pasta.
(Store some pasta water to thin out the sauce, if necessary)
Step 2: Roast Red Bell Pepper Yourself (Or use store-bought jar)
1. Take a whole red bell pepper. Wash it and put in directly on a grill or gas stove. Char grill it, until the skin turns black.
2. Now keep it in a bowl and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. The heat will cook the inside of the bell pepper.
3. When it cools down, then remove the charred black skin.
4. Cut it and remove the stem and seeds. Now dice it as per desired. This ingredient will add smokiness in this pasta recipe.
Step 3: Preparing Sauce
1. Add all the ingredients in a blender (Ingredients list B) and blend. I used Blendtec’s sauces mode (twice).
2. Strain the sauce for smooth consistency. Later on, cook the sauce for 15 minutes or until it simmers and thickens a bit.
Step 4: Cook the Veggies
1. Take olive oil. Add garlic and onion until soften. Add salt and pepper (make sure you add little by little as pasta sauce and pasta itself has enough salt)
2. Add other veggies, red chili flakes, and basil leaves.
3. Cook until the veggies are partially cooked. (Don’t overcook the veggies)
Step 5. Combine veggies, pasta, and the pasta sauce.
If pasta sauce is thick then add some stored pasta water. This water is very flavorful so use it instead of regular water.
Step 6: Garnish with basil leaves and shaved Parmesan cheese. Serve.