|Whole Grain Pasta with Roasted Red Pepper Carrot Pesto, Roasted Broccoli and Cherry Tomatoes|
A while back, I wrote a post called “Super Sauces” that included a recipe for Spinach Basil Pesto and Roasted Red Pepper Sauce. Since then, I’ve made a few other sauces that deserve to be included in this category of Super Sauces — Basil Garlic Scape Pesto, Swiss Chard Garlic Scape Pesto, and Warm Roasted Garlic and Artichoke Spread. Today, I have a new Super Sauce to add to this collection — Roasted Red Pepper Carrot Pesto.
The past two weeks, I have been getting tons of red “Carmen” sweet Italian peppers in my CSA Box. At first when I just got a few, I tossed these sweet crunchy red peppers in salads. But last week, I got at least 8 or 9 of these peppers. I’ve found the best way to use lots of produce quickly is to either puree them into soup or a sauce. Recently one of my favorite bloggers, Kalyn from Kalyn’s Kitchen, wrote a post about her Favorite Tips for Freezing Tomatoes, Fresh Herbs and Vegetables, and I thought about roasting all these peppers and freezing them.
|Red Carmen Sweet Italian Peppers|
Then, I came across a recipe for Roasted Red Pepper Pesto in the CSA Newsletter that came in my CSA Box. The recipe sounded really interesting as it also included carrots, another vegetable that has been overflowing in my refrigerator bin — I have tons of carrots! I had an inkling that this pesto would be another Super Sauce that I would add to my repertoire, and I was right. Smokey roasted peppers, combined with sweet carrots and toasted garlic and walnuts, you can’t go wrong.
Although it was a lot of work peeling the skins off these sweet thin fleshed red “Carmen” peppers, it was well worth the effort (although next time, I might try using regular red bell peppers and roast them whole instead of cutting them up).
This Roasted Red Pepper Carrot Pesto is creamy and rich tasting, and makes a nice spread for sandwiches and quesadillas. You can also enjoy it as we did for dinner one night – tossed with whole grain pasta, Roasted Broccoli and Cherry Tomatoes. Just thin the pesto a little with some pasta cooking liquid.
We’ve had lots of giveaways to celebrate Whole Grains Month this month, and we’re wrapping up this celebration with two more giveaways this week. Today, we have a giveaway sponsored by MagNoodles, maker of Organic Smart Pasta, a unique whole grain pasta created by a mom who started adding pureed vegetables to her pasta dough to try to sneak in extra nutrition into her children’s meals.
All you have to do to enter is leave a comment sharing a sauce or pasta recipe that you’d like to try with whole grain pasta (links are welcome), or telling us how you try to get your family to eat more healthily. The deadline for entering this giveaway is 10/1/11, 12 midnight EST. One Winner will be chosen using random.org and will have 4 days to respond or a new winner will be selected (please be sure to include your email address in your comment). For U.S. residents only.
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Roasted Red Pepper Carrot Pesto
- 6 Carmen Peppers, seeded and halved
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 carrots, sliced and cooked
- 1/4 cup toasted walnuts
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Toss the seeded and halved peppers with 2 tablespoons olive oil and a pinch of salt.
- Arrange peppers on a parchment paper lined baking sheet in a single layer.
- Roast peppers until tender and skin is blistered, about 20-25 minutes.
- Place peppers in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
- Allow peppers to cool; peel skins off.
- Heat remaining 1/4 cup olive oil in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Add chopped garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Put all ingredients, except parsley, in a food processor bowl. Pulse until a smooth paste forms.
- Transfer to a bowl and stir in parsley.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.