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Recipe #77: Grilled Pasta With Goat Cheese & Roasted Red Pepper

Posted Feb 27 2010 5:12am
This is an oldie-but-goodie, an original recipe of mine that stems all the way back to 1997.  Hard to believe that this recipe is now over 12 years old!  It's one of Erik's favorites, although I haven't made it in quite some time. Enjoy!

Grilled Pasta With Goat Cheese & Roasted Red Pepper

Ingredients 1 c. penne pasta (1 c. dry)
1/2-1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil (for cooking pasta)
2 garlic cloves, peeled & minced
1 c. fresh tomatoes, chopped
1/2 c. sun-dried tomatoes, julienned
1/2 c. roasted red peppers, sliced into 1/2" strips (preferably made fresh versus from a jar)
1/3 c. kalamata olives, pitted & sliced into rough pieces
1/2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
salt & pepper to taste
1/3 c. goat cheese, crumbled
1/4 c. fresh basil leaves
1/4 c. fresh oregano

Directions: To make roasted red peppers from scratch, wash & dry them, & then place them on a pan brushed with olive oil. For easy cleanup, use an aluminum foil pan or line pan with aluminum foil.

Peppers can be made in the oven or on the grill.  (For those with electric ovens, be sure to use the broil setting.) If you're making them in the oven, adjust oven rack so that it is about 5 inches underneath oven flame. Turn up your oven temperature as high as it will go.

Lightly brush peppers with olive oil & place in pan. Roast peppers until the skin blisters & chars all over, about 10-15 minutes. Be sure to check on peppers, turning them frequently to prevent burning. (You want the skins to blacken, & not the "meat" of the pepper!) When peppers are ready, remove them and place in brown paper bag, rolling up the open end to seal tightly; this will make the skins easier to remove. Let stand for 10 minutes. Remove the skins, stems, & seeds, & discard. Slice lengthwise into 1/2 inch strips.  Measure 1/2 c. of peppers & set aside.  (Remaining peppers can be refrigerated for later use in other recipes. They make a great topping for salads, etc.)

While peppers are roasting, boil pasta in salted water with a drop of olive oil for roughly 8 minutes, drain, & set aside. Take chopped produce (tomatoes, olives, & garlic) & put into a bowl. Sauté minced garlic in olive oil until soft, but do not brown.  Then add pasta, tomatoes, & veggies.  Cook for about 10 minutes, or until pasta starts to crisp & brown a bit.  Remove from heat. Add lemon juice & season with salt & pepper. Add goat cheese while pan is still hot & mix thoroughly. Goat cheese should melt slightly, which creates a smoother, creamier texture to the dish. Garnish with oregano & basil leaves, & serve.

Yield: 2 servings.


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