Spaghetti with roasted garlic, tomatoes and peppers

 

I usually plan the week’s meals and do all the shopping at once, apart from the things I’ll need fresh and the things I inevitably forget. When I have time off work, though, that routine is the first thing to go out the window. Early mornings are spent browsing food websites, late mornings are spent browsing the supermarket and (hopefully) an idea for dinner will take shape.

Yesterday I spotted this recipe on foodgawker and decided to make it my own. I headed to the supermarket and found cherry tomatoes on special and the most crimson red bell peppers ever.

While we’re on the subject, I never know what to call bell peppers here on pizzarossa. Wikipedia has this to say on the subject of their name(s):

The name given to the Capsicum fruits varies between English-speaking countries.
In Australia, New Zealand and India, heatless species are called “capsicums” while hot ones are called “chilli”/”chillies” (double L). Pepperoncini are also known as “sweet capsicum”. The term “bell peppers” is almost never used, although C. annuum and other varieties which have a bell-shape and are fairly hot, are often called “bell chillies”.

In the United Kingdom and Ireland, the heatless varieties are commonly known simply as “peppers” (or more specifically “green peppers”, “red peppers”, etc.) while the hot ones are “chilli”/”chillies” (double L) or “chilli peppers”.

In the United States and Canada, the common heatless species is referred to as “bell peppers”, “sweet peppers”, “red/green/etc. peppers”, or simply “peppers”, while the hot species are collectively called “chile”/”chiles”, “chili”/”chilies”, or “chili”/”chile peppers” (one L only), “hot peppers”, or named as a specific variety (e.g., banana pepper).

I’m Australian so have always called them capsicums, but most of the blogosphere is North American, so I’m going to call them “red bell peppers (capsicums)” for clarity. Anyway, try this sauce. You won’t be disappointed! It is absolutely bursting with flavour.

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Serves 4

Ingredients

1 head garlic
500g cherry tomatoes
2 large red bell peppers (capsicums)
2 tbsp toasted pine nuts
2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
olive oil
1 500g box spaghetti
parmesan for serving

Directions

Preheat oven to 210°C.

Pull as much of the papery skin off the head of garlic as you can, without exposing the flesh. Using a serrated knife, chop the top centimetre off the head then use the point of the knife to cut off the tips of any outer cloves that didn’t make the cut. Cradle the garlic in a large piece of aluminium foil and drizzle very generously with olive oil then wrap it tightly. Put the parcel in a shallow baking dish (to catch any drips) and put it in the oven for about 45 minutes. When it’s soft and lightly browned, set aside to cool.

Spread the tomatoes in a baking dish. Trim, deseed and slice the peppers (about 1cm) and add them to the tomatoes. Drizzle the veggies with olive oil and toss to coat. Roast for about 45 minutes, tossing once or twice, until the tomatoes are bursting and the peppers are soft and starting to brown. Set aside.

Cook spaghetti according to package directions.

Meanwhile, remove garlic from foil and pour any residual oil into a large skillet. Gently squeeze garlic from the skins onto a board and chop it roughly, then add to skillet along with tomatoes and peppers. Heat to a simmer.

When spaghetti is done, drain it and return it to the pot. Toss through the veggies, pine nuts and parsley. Serve with a sprinkle freshly grated parmesan on top.

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