I love the taste of smoked, roasted vegetables. It infuses an earthy feel to the dish and a taste unique that cannot be substituted by any other method of cooking. Baigan ka Bharta or Fire-Roasted Eggplant, is one of my all time favourite dishes cooked by directly roasting the brinjal over the stove until tender and pulpy and then mushing the flesh and infusing it with Indian spices. Oh YUM!
So, this particular pasta has been on my to-do for a while now. I have heard of Roasted Red Bell Pepper Soup and Pasta and have been curious on how it would taste. Was sure I would love it, considering my liking for this method of cooking, but I had never tasted it before.
Just like in most cases of my planned cooking experiments, I just began creating this dish one evening after a work day! Yes, planned for me just means I have to have the core ingredient and sufficient time, then the rest of the recipe just gets built on. I can never set aside a day or date to venture into my cooking experiments. That only rarely works. I am more of a spontaneous cooking kind of a person!
So, I bought these lovely red bell peppers and stocked them in my fridge and hoped I could make some time out in that particular week. And so, this one day was the day when I decided to make this for dinner!
Just like in Baigan Bharta, the roasting makes the skin char and blacken and the inside flesh soft and tender. I imagined a particular flavour in my head and went on building on it. I wanted roasted garlic, peppery spice and only slightly cheesy flavour. That is just want I did!
This dish can be made a little richer, by adding in some fresh cream into the sauce, if you like. You can also add in more veggies. I kept it very simple and less fattening and let the roasted red bell pepper be the hero of the dish :)
Also, next time I plan to add in some dry red chillies, maybe the Kashmiri variety to the sauce to give a tad more redder colour. The taste however, was a winner and I am glad to have created this simple recipe! Enjoy :)
Prep Time: 30 mins
Cooking Time: 20 mins
Pasta – 3 cups
Red Bell Pepper – 2
Onions – 1, big
Garlic – 10-12 pods
Sweetcorn – ¼ cup
Black Pepper – 1 tbsp.
Butter – as needed
Rock Salt OR Table Salt – a pinch
Olive Oil – a tbsp. and some more for sauteing.
Italian Seasoning – 1 tbsp.
Red Chilli Flakes – 1 tbsp.
Cheese – 2-3 cubes | 1 cup grated
To make the Pasta Sauce:
- Cook the pasta as per instruction in the packet (in a pot of boiling water for about 5-7 minutes), drain the water and keep the pasta aside.
- Roast the red bell peppers directly on the flame until charred black evenly on all sides and have slightly shrunk.
- Make sure you turn the bell peppers at intervals to ensure even roasting.
- Allow the bell peppers to cool.
- Meanwhile, dice about 3/4th the onion and 4-5 pods of garlic. Finely mince the remaining onion and garlic and keep aside for later.
- Heat a tbsp. of butter in a pan and toss in diced onion and garlic.
- Roast until brown.
- Now, peel the cooled roasted red bell peppers and remove the stem. The seeds can remain.
- Toss in the peeled peppers, roasted onions and garlic, crushed pepper, salt and a tbsp. of olive oil into a blender and blend into a puree. You may add in a little water, if needed. Not too much! Set the sauce aside.
To make the Pasta:
- Take a slightly bigger pan, toss in a tbsp. of butter and a dash of olive oil, the remaining minced onion and garlic and saute for a few minutes. Add in the sweetcorn and mix.
- Pour in the red bell pepper sauce and a little water if the sauce is too thick and mix.
- Add half the grated cheese and allow it to melt in the sauce by mixing it well.
- Sprinkle some Italian seasoning, red chili flakes and salt (if needed), mix and allow to cook for 2 mins on low flame.
- Finally add in the cooked pasta and bring all the ingredients together.
- Garnish with some cheese and little more Italian seasoning. Serve hot with garlic bread.