Monday, January 31, 2011
Parkas and Pasta
How many times have we endured the Canadian winter, and it's still the hottest topic of conversation between November and April. Whether we're surprised that the cold has taken longer to set in, or how long it's lasted this year, or just talking about the bone-chilling, teeth-chattering, skin-cracking cold, we persist. So naturally the first thing I want to tell you about (and the next handful of posts are likely going to start similarly) is that it's freezing here! Now since carbohydrates and fat keep our bodies (and hearts) happy, I propose we eat pasta until April. Think about the variations of pasta and sauce that are available to amuse ourselves with while we wait for the blossoms to grace our snow covered trees...
Casarecco with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
(If you have a really good jar of roasted peppers, feel free to substitute)
250g dry Casarecco (or pasta of your choice)
2 Sweet Red Bell Peppers
1 clove Garlic
small bunch of fresh basil
good pinch of salt
cracked black pepper
Roast the red peppers, garlic, and Shallots (skin on) in the oven and peal when cool enough to handle. Blend/food process peppers, shallot, garlic, and basil with a pinch of good course salt and a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Taste the sauce and tweak seasoning to taste, then transfer the sauce to a medium pan on medium-low heat.
In the mean time, boil the pasta in plenty of well-salted water (salt the water after it comes to a boil, as salty water takes longer to boil) until al dente and drain, keeping about 1/4c of the starchy pasta liquid.
Toss the pasta and 1/4c liquid in the pepper purée and mix gently until it all comes together and the pasta is well coated with sauce. Grate some Parmigiano right into the pan and move around gently to enrich the sauce.
Serve with additional grated cheese and a glass of hearty red wine and count down the days until picnic season with us!