I'm a recipe girl, but I have to admit there's a real sense of satisfaction that comes from taking ingredients you have on hand and making them into a dish all your own, even if it's a simple one.
Last night I had an hour to make and eat dinner before heading to cooking class at George Brown. I was craving pasta and knew I had a very ripe, use-it-or-lose-it yellow pepper in the crisper. That was the starting point. I roasted it, sliced it up, and tossed it into cooked spaghetti along with a few sauteed and crushed grape tomatoes, olive oil, chili flakes, and a minced glove of garlic.
With chunks of feta mixed in at the end, salt and pepper to taste, and a spritz of lemon juice over top, you have a delicious and light-tasting pasta dish, all in the span of about 20 minutes.
Spaghetti with Roasted Yellow Pepper, Tomatoes, And Feta
1/4 pkg of spaghetti
1 clove garlic, minced
1 yellow pepper, roasted, peeled, and sliced
1/2 cup grape tomatoes
1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1/8 tsp chili flakes
1 tsp lemon juice
Good quality olive oil
Cook spaghetti to al dente. Drain, rinse off excess starch, and toss with a little olive oil, reserving a couple tablespoons of pasta cooking liquid.
While pasta is cooking, roast yellow pepper in a 450F oven until skin is black and blistered. Remove and carefully place pepper in a paper bag (if you have one, not crucial). This will help loosen the skin. Peel pepper, remove seeds, and slice.
In a medium-sized pan over medium heat, saute garlic and chili flakes in olive oil, add grape tomatoes and after a couple minutes crush them lightly to break the skin and release the juices, being careful not to let the garlic burn (remove from heat if necessary). Add the sliced pepper, cooked pasta, pasta water, and chunks of feta cheese to the pan. Spritz a bit of lemon juice over top, season with salt and pepper, and toss everything together. Taste again before serving.
Serves one, but can easily be modified for two or more.
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