Thursday, May 22, 2008

Lazy Woman Pasta

AKA Cavatappi with Roasted Red Peppers and Garlic

Heat oven to 400 degrees.
Put about 1/4 cup of good quality olive oil into a rectangular, oven proof dish. Place dish in oven while you prep the vegetables.

Take two red peppers. Cut the tops off, remove the seeds, and dice into largeish pieces - about 1" by 1". Take one large onion, peel and dice that the same way. Add vegetables to dish, add some kosher salt and freshly-ground pepper and let roast for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In the meantime, peel about 8 garlic cloves (or more, depending upon your taste - what you'll end up with is wonderfully sweet roasted garlic, so more is better in this case). Place the clove on a cutting board and smack it gently with the side of a large chef''s knife so that you can peel away the papery skin. You want the clove peeled but not smashed. Do this fresh - I'm very suspicious of those large jars of already-peeled cloves in the supermarket. (My guess: either underpaid labor or a chemical process.)

Bring a large pot of water to the boil.

Add garlic cloves to your roasting peppers and onions. Stir. Add a few drizzles of olive oil - you want the vegetables to be a bit shiny but not drowning in the oil. Add a bit more pepper and salt. Let roast for about 10 more minutes.

Add a tablespoon of kosher salt to the boiling water. Pour in 1/2 pound of cavatappi, or a similar small pasta with lots of twists and turns. Cook until al dente.

Drain pasta. Add roasted vegetables and 1/2 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese and a few grindings of fresh pepper. Stir well. Eat!

And if you have leftovers, because you are having dinner alone or because you want something ready to go for tomorrow's lunch, let the pasta come to room temperature before eating. A glass of Proseco is very nice with this, as is a good disc from Netflix or a last-minute dinner with a neighbor. Or you could read the best novel that I've come across in ages: The Great Man by Kate Christensen.

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