Since I went back to school, I’ve been busier than usual. The one thing keeping me on track diet-wise is cooking the week’s food on Sundays. Thank goodness I’ve gotten meal planning down to an art lately.
It will especially come in handy this month as one of my classes digs right into some pretty tough material. The reading is largely a translation of another book on semiotics, and…I’ll be honest, the translation isn’t great, and the material itself is really difficult to wrap my mind around. I’m enjoying the class, but man, it’s taking awhile to get through the reading! I’m also a bit concerned that I have to lead class discussion one of these days, and the material I’m supposed to cover is hard, hard stuff. I’ve been on JSTOR trying to get some background information, but it’s not easy!
In light of that, I decided that this week’s cooking needed to be quick. I did a quick baked, breaded chicken for us to eat a few times, and for the other meal, I decided on this pasta with a creamy, tangy red pepper sauce. Really, this meal couldn’t be easier – even if I’d decided to do it right before class, I could still get it done without worrying too much! It’s vegetarian, and a large helping (a whopping 1/6th of the recipe) clocks in at only 360 calories!
Creamy, tangy red pepper and goat cheese sauce, ready in less than 30 minutes! Only 360 calories per serving!
- 1 T canola oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 12 oz frozen diced fire-roasted peppers OR 2 bell peppers, diced, roasted, and skinned
- 4 oz canned diced tomatoes (optional)
- 4 oz goat cheese, crumbled
- 1/2 oz Parmesan cheese, grated (plus more to serve)
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup vegetable broth or water (if needed)
- 1 lb pasta of choice
- Heat oil in medium skillet over medium heat. Once the oil has developed a bit of a glossy sheen and can be swirled around the pan easily, add the onion to the skillet. Saute until the onions are soft and translucent with a bit of color on them. Reduce the heat a bit, then add the garlic to the skillet and saute it, stirring constantly, until it is soft and fragrant (about 1-2 minutes).
- Meanwhile, prepare pasta according to package directions, then drain it and set it aside.
- Add the peppers to the skillet; if your peppers are the frozen kind, make sure they get heated through. If, like me, you're using up some excess canned diced tomatoes, add those to the skillet, as well, and heat through.
- Pour the contents of the skillet into a blender or food processor. If you like your sauces smooth, puree until the sauce is smooth; if, like me, you like your sauces a bit chunky, 10 seconds is about enough. Pour the sauce back into the skillet, then add the goat cheese, heating over medium until the goat cheese melts and is distributed evenly throughout the sauce. Add Parmesan cheese and stir through. If the sauce is a bit too thick for your tastes, add 1/4 to 1/2 cup vegetable broth or water.
- Pour the pasta into a large serving bowl or the pan in which you cooked the pasta, then top with the sauce. Stir to combine thoroughly. Serve hot, with additional Parmesan cheese if you'd like.