Saturday, September 12, 2009

Garden News

Heather's peppers--Jake Putnam photo

Peppers and Pasta, a Harvest Treat

Gardens across Idaho Valley are chocked full of harvest colors, reds, yellows, purples and the most brilliant colors come from peppers. Peppers are usually reserved for chilli, but peppers can spice up a bowl of pasta. Garden columnist Kate Lawson shares a favorite last summer recipe:

"Peppers are easy to freeze, just chop or slice into rings and flash freeze. When solid, transfer to plastic, zippered bags and you can grab a handful when making homemade pizza or sauce.
Linguine with PeppersSmoked mozzarella is available in most supermarkets with a decent cheese selection. Use any combination of peppers for this sauce," writes Lawson.

2 large yellow bell peppers (can substitute 6 smaller peppers or use a combination of orange and yellow or red)
3 fresh medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 tablespoon capers
1/2 cup freshly chopped basil
1/2 cup diced smoked mozzarella
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 cup olive oil (or to taste)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 pound linguine
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 1/2 cup)

Heat the broiler. Broil the peppers on a piece of aluminum foil on rack about 5 inches from the heat source, turning occasionally, until the skin has blackened all over.
Place the peppers in a brown paper bag. Close the bag securely and let the peppers rest for 5 minutes.

Remove the peppers. When cool enough to handle, remove the stem ends, seeds, and any white membrane. Cut the peppers into thin strips and put into a large bowl. Add the tomatoes, capers, basil, mozzarella, crushed red pepper and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and toss. Set aside.

Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon of salt. Stir in the linguine and cook until al dente, stirring often.

Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of hot pasta water. Add the pasta to the sauce in the bowl and toss, adding a little hot pasta water if necessary. Add coarse salt and pepper to taste, top with a bit of grated Parmesan or pass at the table. Serve hot with some garlic bread and simple green salad. Serves 4.

Per serving: 581 calories; 34 g fat (8 g saturated fat; 53 percent calories from fat); 54 g carbohydrates; 19 mg cholesterol; 558 mg sodium; 16 g protein; 4 g fiber.

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