Friday, January 8, 2010

Fastest Pasta Recipe Yet!

Today my friend and I were talking about how our tastes in food have evolved over the last 5 years, since we've been married to our respective fellas. I'd like to think that I've influenced DH's culinary palette as much as he has mine. But it's not a competition, folks - and if it is, it's the best kind, because it's a win-win situation I think! For instance, I now believe and follow DH's mantra that one can pair parathas with pretty much everything. And halwa is no longer just dessert in my house; sometimes it appears in the role of a side-dish with savory kababs. On the flip side, I am guilty of expanding DH's dessert repertoire, appetite, and consequently his waistline. As a matter of fact, this pregnancy has resulted in us both packing on the pounds. It's going to get ugly between us after the baby, when we're both racing to shed the weight. I may subconsciously try to fatten him up, so that I look thinner in comparison, but I'll try to curb this selfish streak!

I digress. Which is not surprising. Pregnancy brain tends to wander. I was talking about how our taste in food has changed, reflecting each other's likes and dislikes. But there are some things that have not yet changed. Pasta being one of them. There are so many amazing pasta recipes out there that I want to try, but most of them are purely vegetarian, and although I love that, it just wouldn't fly with DH. So when I do make my veggie pasta dishes, I usually have to make something else to appease DH - something a lot more meat-centric (trust me, arguments about cholesterol levels fall on deaf ears because he's in the medical field himself and is a confirmed know-it-all!). These days, however, I'm too heavy to be standing around in the kitchen for too long. So when I want a pasta dish all for myself, it needs to be super-quick. The Pioneer Woman, Ree, being a cowgirl who is also usually short on time and needs to take a break from her typical man-pleasing food, had the perfect recipe for me. A pasta dish that came together in almost no time flat.
Pasta With Roasted Red Pepper Sauce (see Ree's original recipe for detailed pics)
Serves 2

Click here for printable recipe

2-3 12oz jars of roasted red peppers OR 3 whole red bell peppers (charred on the stove, skins removed, then deseeded)
2 tbsp pine nuts
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup cream
Fresh parmesan, shaved or grated
Chopped fresh parsley OR cilantro OR basil
1/2 lb penne pasta
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Lightly toast pine nuts in a skillet and set aside.

2. Puree peppers with pine nuts in a blender and set aside.
3. Cook pasta according to package instructions. I used whole grain penne, which was pretty good - surprisingly for me; you know my love-hate relationship with health food.

4. In a pot over medium heat, drizzle in the olive oil, and saute the onions till soft. Add the garlic and saute for another minute. Pour in pepper puree and stir together. Add plenty (and I mean it) of salt and pepper - for some reason this sauce needs it.

5. Pour in cream and stir to combine. Add the cooked pasta and stir again. Taste for additional seasoning if needed. Place pasta in a comfortingly large bowl and sprinkle your fresh herb of choice over the top, as well as lots of shaved parmesan. Then smile as you dig in to this bright, cheerful and super-quick pasta.
Verdict: Ree has such beautiful pics of this pasta on her site. I was too busy eating mine before DH walked in and complained about the lack of meat or chicken in the dish. The pasta would have tasted even better had I used fresh bell peppers like P-Dub, instead of the stuff in the jar. But can you believe that my grocery store didn't have a single red pepper the day that I went to get some?! Why is it that when I don't need it, there's always an overflowing abundance of it that I walk by on a regular basis - but the one day that I specifically got off my pregnant ass, got in my frozen car, drove to the store and paraded by huge belly for the world to see, that's when they run out?! So I improvised. And the results weren't bad at all. I still got good flavor with the added benefit of lots of nutrients from the peppers and fibre from the whole grain pasta. Calcium from the cream, right right?!

So this recipe is my submission to the next round-up at Foodie Fans of The Pioneer Woman, where the theme this time was Cowgirl Food. The deadline is tomorrow, so y'all still have time to dig in your heels and indulge your inner P-Dub.

In addition, I think this recipe would also work really well for the next round-up of Presto Pasta Nights, this time hosted by A Scientist In The Kitchen.


Mari said...

That looks like an amazing dish! in my opinion, you can never go wrong with pasta

Good luck on increasing his waist line! lol

Sushma Mallya said...

looks very creamy and delicious

Erica said...

That pasta looks creamy and delicious! I love to find good vegetarian recipes for my husband. Thank you for sharing.

Lena Jayadev said...

hai muneebaa...this looks awesome dear...i was off frm blogging as my due date approaches within 2weeks.. :) sorry for the delay and wish you a very happy and prosperous new year... :)

Joanne said...

I have a feeling that there were plenty of nutrients in the red peppers, even though they were jarred lol. This was one of my runners-up for recipes to make for this week's round-up. I loved how creamy the sauce looked and I knew it would be excellent with the smoky roasted red pepper flavor. Oh well. Another dish for another week I suppose!

I loved your discussion about how we influence each other's tastes! At least you are SUPPOSED to be gaining weight my dear. And the husband is just gaining sympathy pounds :p

Deeba PAB said...

Awesome...I love the pasta & the flavours. For once the red isn't tomatoes...YUM YUM!I share your guilt related to expanding waistlines!! LOL, but they've never had it so good !!I'm gonna make this soon with FRESH red bell peppers! (Sorry about yelling it out, because that's all we get here...teehee)
Hugs to you Mum to be! xo

Ruth Daniels said...

Great post and delicious pasta. Thanks for sharing screen-lickingly lovely photos and all with Presto Pasta Nights.

Mona said...

Simple pasta dishes are what I too opt for when I need a quick fix for meals. This one looks yummy!

Foodiewife said...

I've had this recipe bookmarked for ages! I adore red peppers! You've really sparked my desire to try this one, Muneeba. Looks so lovely, and you did a great job with photographs! Coming up, really soon!

Anonymous said...

What a great quick and easy dinner recipe!! Thanks for sharing :)

Unknown said...

Oooh, fantastic recipe! I love things like this that you can whip up in a hurry (but of course i need to let hubby think i was working all day on it).

Jennifer said...

I am not a huge fan of pasta but that sure looks good, YUM!

Katherine Roberts Aucoin said...

I love cooking with roasted red peppers. Try it with a little grated Pecorino Romanao, it gives the dish way more pop!

Kerstin said...

I love roasted red peppers with pasta - this looks delicious!

Cristie said...

Well aren't you creative? It sounds just wonderful. I love people that can go with the flow, now I have to try PW and your version and of course . . . mine.

Anonymous said...

The roasted pepper sauce sounds great with pasta, I like the pine nuts here too!

Deeba PAB said...

Just made it for lunch...& loved it! Mr PAB loved it even more. SO MUCH FLAVOUR>>>YUM!! Thank you Muneeba!

Sara said...

Mmmm, I ADORE this particular recipe... so so yummy! I used the jarred red peppers when I made it as well and it's one of my favs! :)