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?