Can it be possible to cook a healthy dinner without having to run by the grocery first? You bet! Stock your pantry with some of the new whole grain pastas on the market and top with roasted red and yellow peppers (yes! from a jar…à la Trader Joes, in my case), a shaving of parmesan, some olive oil and you have dinner!
A little something green, if you have it around (parsley, arugula, basil) brightens things up a bit, but it is not required. I got lucky when I made this the other day — I had some arugula that had gone to flower out in a pot in the yard and I used it, flowers and all. Not bad for a weeknight!
Farro Linguine with Roasted Peppers
serves 2 generously
1 12 ounce jar roasted peppers, rinsed with water to remove excess salt, patted dry with a paper towel, then sliced into thin strips
1 shallot, peeled and finely diced
extra virgin olive oil
juice from 1/2 lemon
pinch red pepper flakes
a few grinds of black pepper
whole grain linguine or pasta of choice (the Selezioni Monograno Farro Linguine I picked up on sale at Whole Foods was delicious!)
1. Put a pot of water on to boil for the pasta. Salt the water, add the pasta and boil to taste, aiming for al dente. (Tip to remember: “al dente” pasta means a lower glycemic index, so don’t overcook your noodles!)
2. Heat a tablespoon or two of olive oil in a frying pan. Add the shallots and cook for a couple minutes to soften. Add the sliced peppers, the lemon juice, pinch of red pepper flakes, a few grinds of black pepper and NO salt. (Usually the peppers will be preserved with more than enough salt to carry the dish, even after you rinse them in water — if you aren’t sure just how salty they are going to be, just taste and judge for yourself.) Leave this cooking on low to medium heat while your pasta finishes cooking.
3. When the pasta is done, drain it and add the pasta to your frying pan w/the peppers and shallots. Toss to coat. Serve in warm bowls topped with grated parmesan, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, and a few arugula leaves. And a couple more grinds of black pepper.
Amy’s Kitchen Coach Tip
- By all means, if you see bell peppers at your farmers market, buy some! You can either char them on gas flame of your stove top (then place in a brown paper bag to steam a few minutes — this makes removing the skin easier) or do a long, slow sauté in some olive oil.