I made this a couple of nights ago. You know how those nights when you are completely bored of making the same thing over and over again? Well, this recipe spiced up the week with a flavor of intensity and revitalization. Sean doesn’t like mushrooms, so I used 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts instead. I marinated them as if they were mushrooms, then cooked them in the marinade in a small skillet until they were no longer pink in the center. A bonus was the kids enjoyed this, too. The next day I made home-made pizza and used the arugula pesto for one half of the crust and it was a nice touch. This meal has many steps, but it is well worth it, especially when you are in a bit of a cooking funk. This is not a quick dish, so please don’t try to make it when you have company coming over in 40 minutes or less…it might be just a bit impossible.
1 lb fettucine
4 portabello mushrooms, marinated and roasted (see below)
2 each red and yellow peppers, roasted and peeled (see below)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large red onion, julienned
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup arugula pesto (see below)
1/4 cup grated Romano cheese (or Asiago)
4 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
How To Play:
Heat a large pot of water to cook the pasta. Slice the portabello mushrooms and roasted peppers into long, thin strips and set aside. Heat olive oil in a skillet and saute the onion until translucent. Add the mushrooms, peppers, and cherry tomato halves, toss to heat through and keep warm over low heat. Meanwhile, cook the fettucine. Strain the pasta and toss with enough pesto to liberally coat the noodles. Add the vegetables and basil and toss to combine. Divide among four pasta bowls, sprinkle with Romano cheese and toasted pine nuts.
Marinated Portabello Mushrooms:
4 portabello mushrooms
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp red chile flakes
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup white wine
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tsp lemon zest
Pre-heat grill or oven. Clean mushrooms and lay gill side up in a shallow pan. Whisk together the marinade ingredients, pour over the mushrooms, cover and marinate in the refrigerator for up to 4 hours.
4 sweet peppers
There are 3 ways to roast peppers, depending on your equipment- a barbecue, gas stove or regular oven. On the flame of a barbecue or gas stove, roast the peppers whole until the skins are charred and blistered, using a set of tongs to turn the peppers over to expose all surfaces. Transfer peppers to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap for 10 minutes. Remove wrap, cool slightly and peel away the seared skin. To oven roast, pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Halve and seed the peppers. Place them cut-side down on an oiled or parchment-lined baking sheet and roast until the skins puff up and blister (about 15 minutes). Proceed as with flame-roasted peppers.
2 cups arugula leaves, packed
1/2 cup pine nuts (or 1/4 cup pine nuts and 1/4 cup almonds)
1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
6 cloves roasted garlic (see below)
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp chile flakes
1/2 tsp cracked pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
Pulse all ingredients, except oil, to form a course paste. Add oil and pulse to blend. Keep refrigerated. Leftover pesto can be used in sandwiches, on pizza, stirred into tomato sauce, or spread onto a baguette with vine ripe tomatoes.
2 garlic bulbs
2 tsp olive oil
pinch of salt
pinch of cracked pepper
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Using a sharp knife, slice the top off the garlic bulb, just enough to expose the tops of the garlic flesh. Center each bulb on a square piece of aluminum foil. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Wrap the bulbs securely and pop them into the oven. After 45 minutes you should start to smell the sweet roasting aroma, but depending on the size of your bulb, it may need a bit more time. Test by slipping the sharp point of a sparing knife into one of the cloves. If it slides in effortlessly, or the bulbs are starting to poke out of their skins, then the garlic is ready to serve.