Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Fettuccine with Creamy Red Pepper-Feta Sauce

Ever have one of those days… You go to work, contemplate what to have for dinner. You finally figure it out, assure yourself that you have all the ingredients in the pantry and don’t worry about it again until its time to make dinner.

Well, that was me last week. I had taken cod out of the freezer for dinner. Went to work and decided I was going to make a Thai Cod in Coconut Curry Broth. It was a recipe I saw Ellie Krieger make on Food Network a few weeks ago with halibut. I just knew I had all the ingredients at home, even bought a big bunch of cilantro at Safeway over the weekend. So, I went home that night, went on a run, showered and moseyed on down to the kitchen around 7:00. Opened up the pantry door…… NO COCONUT MILK! I have no idea what I had used the last can in, but obviously I used it in something. So, now what I was going to make? Going to the store was just not an option.

Conveniently, I had also watched Ellie make a Roasted Red Pepper Pasta and I had all the ingredients. So, pan fry up the cod to serve along with the pasta and that was going to be dinner. Hopefully a good one.

Well, Ellie did not disappoint. The pasta was fast, easy, and delicious. If you have jarred roasted red peppers then the amount of cooking is minimal. Just have to boil the pasta and sautĂ© the garlic, onions and peppers in a skillet. I didn’t have jarred peppers, but did have two fresh ones. So, I popped them under the broiler until they were blackened (about 8-10 minutes), removed the skinned and diced them up. There. Fresh roasted red peppers… even better than jarred. I tossed them in the skilled for a minute with the garlic and onions, and added a handful of cherry tomatoes that I wasn’t sure would last one more day. Dumped all of it in the food processor, added some vegetable stock and feta cheese and walla! Dinner.

This was super easy and really tasty. A great deviation from the normal pasta with tomato sauce. I served this with pan-fried cod and sauted spinach. This is sure to be a staple meal in this house.

Fettuccine with Creamy Red Pepper-Feta Sauce adapted from Ellie Krieger

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 to 3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1 (16-ounce) jar roasted red peppers, drained and chopped
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken stock or vegetable stock
1 cup crumbled feta cheese or a 6-ounce block
1 pound whole-wheat fettuccine
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

1. Heat the oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat.

2. Saute onion and garlic until soft, about 10 minutes. Add roasted peppers and cherry tomatoes, and saute until heated through. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

3. Place mixture in the bowl of a food processor with stock and all but 2 tablespoons of the feta. Process until combined and smooth, about 30 seconds.

4. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water. Toss pasta with sauce, adding pasta water by the tablespoon, if needed. Sauce should cling nicely to pasta.

5. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

6. Divide among pasta bowls. Sprinkle with parsley and remaining feta cheese.


Julie said...

Yes! I have those days all the time! But it looks like you completely saved the day with this one. Sounds delicious.

Erin said...

Funny thing is, Julie -- same exact thing happened to me tonight. Thought I had 2 cups of goat cheese -- I was wrong. However was able to make good substitutions and the meal was absolutly fantastic. Check back agin soon, I plan to write about this next week.