Valentine Hangover: Spaghetti With Roasted Bell Pepper Marinara

Valentine’s Day. I’ve never given it much thought, nor have I been big on celebrations. Some gifts exchanged, yes. Some fancy dinners had, yes. But this year, I thought it was time to bring out the cheese. You know, since I’m attempting to be a phancy blogger mom & wife and all that.

Since everyone was embracing the theme of red foods, I decided I would cook a reddish meal. (I made this decision at noon.)  I did not have much to work with, nor did I have the time to go beyond my neighbourhood grocer and procure produce. (A little alliteration.) (Twice!!)

I had most of the ingredients for cake, plus some whole wheat spaghetti, as well as lovely red bell peppers and lots of tomatoes. I just needed to get some icing sugar to make frosting, some red food colouring for the cake batter, and while I was getting that I saw some strawberry Tang, and thought, hey! pink drink. (I know what you are thinking. But I really didn’t have time to go out and get red wine. And I am not much of a drinker anyway. Kind of contradicts the title of this post. I am being a responsible mom and staying off alcohol till weaning is over! Did I mention that I love strawberry Tang?)

So here was the menu for my Reddish Valentine Dinner.

  1. Spaghetti with Roasted Bell Pepper Marinara
  2.  Red But Not Quite Velvet Cake
  3. Strawberry Tang

And you know what? It was quite enjoyable. And my husband was pleasantly surprised and extremely happy. And my 10-month old son slurped up some spaghetti, too. 2 strings, to be exact. Nice enough for me!

SPAGHETTI WITH ROASTED BELL PEPPER MARINARA

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large RED bell pepper
  • 2-3 medium tomatoes
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4-5 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon crushed chilli flakes
  • 1 teaspoon oregano flakes (or fresh if you prefer)
  • A little basil, fresh or dried
  • 1/4 cup tomato puree (optional)
  • Salt to taste

METHOD

  • In a small pot, blanch your tomatoes, remove the skin and seeds and set aside.
  • Boil the onion (whole) till soft and set aside (Just put the tomatoes and onions in the pot together. Saves time.)
  • Roast the red bell pepper over a flame, let cool, and remove the seeds and stem.
  • In a blender, zhuzh up (puree) the tomatoes, onion and roasted bell pepper.
  • In a pot, pour in the olive oil. When it gets hot, add the garlic cloves and sautee till soft.
  • Add in the tomato puree at this point. This is just to add a little bulk to the sauce.
  • Next, add your blended paste of tomato-onion-bell pepper.
  • Toss in the crushed chilli flakes, oregano, basil and salt to taste.
  • Allow to simmer on a medium or low flame for 5-7 minutes.

Spoon over some cooked spaghetti or any other pasta and dinner is ready!

I’ll post the cake tomorrow 🙂 I hope you all shared a happy February 14th with your loved ones.

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