Thursday, January 28, 2010

Roasted Red Pepper & Feta Sauce for Pasta

I saw this recipe when I was looking for a side to go with some leftover chicken and wanted to try the pasta sauce it uses. I thought I'd use just the sauce with some angel hair.

It called for a 16 ounce jar of roast red bell peppers, so I ran down to the store and bought a jar...

Ok, I lie. I tossed some mini sweet peppers on the Big Green Egg running at about 500f and fire roasted the little suckers! The sweet smell of char climbed into the air in wisps of flavor.

After they were blackened, I threw them in a ziploc bag to let them steam themselves and cool. I peeled them and seeded them. It was a pain in the arse but I will sum up roasting your on peppers as follows:

The effort required might make it worth buying them in a jar. BUT, the fresh roasted taste makes it well worth the effort.

Pasta With Creamy Red Pepper-feta Sauce And Chicken Recipe

2 + 2 tablespoons extra olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion

3 garlic cloves, chopped

16 ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained and chopped

1/2 cup vegetable broth

1 cup crumbled feta cheese, divided

2 chicken breasts

1 pound whole-wheat fettuccine pasta
salt and fresh ground pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves


Pound chicken breasts flat season with salt and pepper. Cook pasta, and while its cooking. In skillet place 2 tbs EVOO and fry over med heat chicken breasts slowly till cooked through. Set aside.

In same skillet heat 2 tbs of EVOO. Cook onions till tender 5-7 min. Add garlic cook 1-2 min. Add the chopped peppers and cook until heated through. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

Place mixture in a food processor
Add stock and all but 2 tablespoons of the feta. Process until combined and smooth and return to skillet to keep warm. Use some pasta water to thin sauce if needed. Mix pasta with sauce sprinkle with remaining feta and parsley.

One change I did was added few tablespoons of white wine after sauteing the onions & garlic.

I also only used 1/2 cup of feta cheese. This sauce was rich and tangy enough as is.

This sauce smacked my mouth with a bold flavor. This "side dish" is good enough to be a main dish on its own. Although, I think it would be better served with penne or rigatoni than noodles.

Damn I'm looking forward to leftovers for lunch tomorrow.

So, what is your favorite side dish that you could happily eat alone as a main dish?

21 comments:

  1. These beautiful photos made my mouth water! I love the recipe - nice combination of flavors. I sometimes find those little peppers much harder to peel than the larger peppers - but I love those sweet little things.

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  2. Bookmarked! I WILL be making this sauce soon. Nicely done Chris.

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  3. I appreciate your humor, but there is nothing like peppers you have roasted yourself. Nice try, but I knew you'd revert to the egg. It's in your nature. GREG

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  4. Looking good, man. I've never had a side that deserved the center stage like that. I'll have to give this a try (I can imagine it was a pain in the arse). I love the shots of the peppers on the grill.

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  5. Macaroni and cheese. Does that make me uncultured?

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  6. I know, roasting them yourselves is so much better. But my store has had the big jars on sale for the past two weeks, so yeah, I won't be needing to roast any anytime soon.

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  7. I rake my man over the coals now and then, but he prefers himself al dente...

    I would love that dish for some left overs!

    You also dredged up memories of culinary school and me having to help this kid grill peppers, and other food (chicken), he did not get the idea that the peppers did not have to have uniform grill marks, because we were making sauce with them...gotta love them...

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  8. As my girls say, you're a hoss on the grill!

    Ok, you've worn me down with this. When's moving day?

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  9. Nice colors, sounds like rich flavor, also!

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  10. good lord that looks WONderful. First of all, I was so glad to see your post come through, looks like I'm back subscribed and back in business. GREAT photo of those roasting peppers. Can't wait to try this recipe, it really looks very very good.

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  11. Vickie: You are right on the money about the little ones being harder to peel! The red were also easier to peel than the orange ones.

    Pam: I know you'll put a nice spin on it.

    Greg: You know me well!

    Gray: Yeah, but it's worth it! I wish I had remembered to toss some wood chips on the Egg right before putting them on. They are only on the grill for a few minutes so there's no danger of oversmoking them.

    Emily: Nope, that just makes you smart! I love mac and cheese.

    Pam: If I had a jar, I probably wouldn't have roasted them myself but I'm glad that I did.

    Chef E: Yeah, but straight lines are purty!

    Katherine: It'll have to wait until after the Super Bowl, you'll be busy!

    Buff Dick: I was very happy with it, but yes, very rich. I can't imagine it with another 4 oz of feta as the recipe calls for.

    Lea Ann: I know, I love that shot. I had one just a tiny better because there was one wisp of smoke sliding around a pepper. But the focus wasn't as sharp so I went with this one.

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  12. Roasted red peppers are one of our favorites. Great photos Chris. Stay warm with the snow coming.
    Sam

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  13. What a magnificent pic of these roasted red pepper and the tangy sauce is ideal for my weekly pasta :)

    Hey Chris I'm hungry, again!

    Happy weekend,

    Gera

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  14. Oh yum! I want some of those leftovers too! Oops, just drooled on my keyboard!
    My side dishes very often end up as a main dish for me. I love carbs and veggies more than anything.

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  15. Holy cow does this look great! I think creamy pasta dishes are so soul satisfying. It just doesn't get any better than pasta with a delicious and pretty cream sauce.
    Totally agree with you about roasting peppers and the effort involved.

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  16. YUM! can i drink the sauce? umm...this is super boring but I could eat steamed broccoli with red potatoes all day long.

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  17. If there's time, roasting peppers like this is the way to go. Especially if they're multi-colored! The flavor is great.

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  18. Yum! That looks wonderful. And I agree; a jar of roasted peppers will do, but fresh roasted is worth the effort.

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  19. What makes it better is the fact that the red pepper is roasted. I think that'll really taste good.

    italian food products

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  20. The grilled peppers look very beautiful on the pasta.

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