Penne with sautéed sweet mini peppers

Feb
2014
14

posted by on cooking for 2, healthy, portions, quick, Vegetarian

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Penne with sweet mini peppers

This dish was a good start and I thought I’d share the recipe along with some mix-in options (meat lovers rejoice!) because honestly, there’s always room for improvement especially with a quick-fix dish like this one.

The sweet mini peppers are usually found in a package or bag but you could substitute them for a favorite bell pepper if you wanted. Honestly these little guys pack a nice, sweet contrast in this dish. They’re worth a try!

Next time I’ll also be adding some baby kale or spinach to add some more color and another contrasting texture.

Grilled chicken breast would be amazing in this dish! Maybe even some cooked up ground turkey or some sautéed or grilled shrimp? Options are everywhere for this. Get creative!

prep work!

To make cooking easier, I went ahead and prepped my peppers, garlic, lemon juice and the correct portion size of penne beforehand.

Also, I should note that basil paste has easily become a favorite staple of mine. I used to buy a fresh bunch of basil, but honestly with little to no storage, it’d always go bad before I could use it up.

Compared to the dried basil you can find, this has so much more ‘live’ flavor. You should be able to find easily (I found mine at Safeway).  Makes 2 servings.

What you’ll need:

  • ¾-1 cup of penne pasta
  • olive oil
  • basil paste
  • crumbled feta cheese (don’t substitute this – there’s no added salt in this recipe because of the natural salty flavor that feta holds)
  • 2 servings (about 8) mini sweet peppers
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • fresh lemon juice (about ¼-½ of a leftover lemon is what I used)
  • red pepper flakes to taste
  1. Using your microwave rice/pasta cooker, add your penne and 2½ cups of water. Cook for 10 minutes or follow whatever cooking instructions are on the package).
  2. Meanwhile, prep your peppers by slicing the top off and slicing the pepper in half, lengthwise. Clean out any veins or seeds you see and place in your rice cooker’s strainer.
  3. Rinse the baby peppers well and slice them in half, lengthwise one more time.
  4. In a sauté pan, heat up about 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add your chopped garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes, just until you can start to smell the garlic.
  5. Add your sliced peppers, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, and squeeze about 1 tablespoon or so of basil paste on top. Mix well and let the peppers do there thing.
  6. Once the pasta is done, drain it and pour the penne into your pan with the peppers. Mix well adding any extra seasoning you want and top it off with crumbled feta. Mix well and serve right away. Don’t forget to top it off with chicken, etc.

**if you wanted to add kale or spinach, I’d add that into the pasta water before you drain the pasta, just until the spinach/kale is nice and wilted. Drain the pasta and spinach together and add to your peppers to finish cooking**

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