Meatless Monday: pasta with roasted peppers and cream sauce

For meatless Mondays, I’ve been trying to be creative about cooking – I don’t want it to become a rut, though I’ve been relying on pasta a lot (last week I made a vegetarian lasagna, this week I made pasta with roasted peppers and cream sauce). I also make portobello mushroom “burgers” a lot – I’m thinking I have to start expanding my repetoire.

So, with this recipe, you need a little bit more time, because you’ll be roasted peppers.

Ingredients:

1/2 box of whole wheat pasta – I prefer the wagon wheel-shaped ones or the cork scews (rotini). We had penne because the store was out of everything else.
1 red bell pepper
2 jalapeno peppers
1/4 large onion chopped finely
3 tlb of butter
4 tbl of heavy cream or sour cream

First boil the pasta according to the directions on the box. I always shave off a few minutes because I find the noodles are overdone if I follow the directions. Also, the pasta will be cooking with the sauce as well.

While the pasta, preheat your broiler. Wash your peppers carefully and dry them and place them on a cookie sheet, lined with foil (for easy clean up), about 6 inches away from the broiler heat. Leave the oven door ajar so you can check the progress of your roasting. Let the peppers’ skins get black and blistery. You’ll have to rotate the peppers so they get roasted on each side. This in itself will take about 20 minutes. Once the peppers are done take them out and place them in a plastic bag and let it sit for about 5 minutes. The peppers will steam in the bag and soften the skin more.

After about 5 minutes, take the peppers out and peel the skin off – it should come off easily. Then scrap away any membrane and seeds – be careful not to rub your eyes, pick your nose or do anything else personal because you’ve got pepper oil on your fingers and the oil can burn. Wearing rubber or latex gloves might be a great idea. Chop the roasted peppers and set aside.

Heat the butter over medium-high heat and throw in the onions and cook for about 10 minutes until they start to brown and they release their juices. Throw in the peppers and mix and cook until the liquid has desolved – about another 10 minutes. Take about a cup of the pasta water from your pot of penne and pour it into the vegetables and simmer until the liquid’s thickened. Pour in the cream and stir, and dump in the pasta and stir. Serve immediately. Oh, and enjoy.

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