Some people can’t stand Valentine’s Day. Me? Love it. But then again, I love most holidays.
So over the next two weeks, most of the posts around here will be Valentine’s themed. Most of them are food, so even if you don’t like Valentine’s Day, you can still enjoy them 🙂
Now, there’s a pizza buffet in Utah (and I think Idaho) called Pizza Pie Cafe. It’s actually one of the first places Forrest and I hung out at! Anyways, they have amazing pizza, and some pretty delicious pasta too. One of my favorite sauces there is a roasted red pepper and sausage sauce. It’s absolutely delicious, and at times, I’m tempted to pay for the buffet just for the sauce.
Unfortunately, that would be a rather pricey thing to do, so I decided to come up with my own roasted red pepper sauce. I think it tasted even better, and it’s lactose free. The one at Pizza Pie Cafe is definitely not, so it’s a win-win situation — it won’t make me or Jack sick, and we don’t have to pay for a buffet. You can make a dairy free version by omitting the parmesan cheese.
I know it looks kind of orangeish, but I still think it would be perfect for a romantic Valentine’s dinner, because, hey, red peppers are red 😉 Plus it’s super delicious. We all gobbled it up!
- 2 red peppers
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1/2 red onion
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 can coconut milk, full fat, not lite
- 1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
- 1 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup powdered parmesan cheese
- 1/2-1 pound sausage, optional; use whatever amount you want
- Turn the oven to broil.
- Place red peppers on a pan, and place in the oven for five minutes. Flip over, and broil for another five minutes.
- While the peppers are in the oven, cook sausage. Drain, and set aside.
- Remove the stems and seeds from the red pepper.
- Place red pepper, onion, and garlic into a food processor. Process until they are combined and smooth.
- In a large sauce pan, put the red pepper mixture. Add olive oil, italian seasoning, and red pepper flakes and cook over medium heat for about 3 minutes.
- Pour coconut milk and parmesan into the pan. Cook about 5 minutes minutes.
- Add crumbled sausage and serve.
As you can see, there isn’t a traditional pasta being used in this — I totally have jumped on the spiralizing vegetable train. Have you heard of spiralizing? Basically, it’s this awesome little machine that cuts vegetables into noodle-like pieces (or a variety of other shapes and sizes). The main reason I wanted one was because I wanted to make more vegetable-based pasta, in an attempt to eat a little healthier and try and cut out some gluten products. I always love using spaghetti squash, so I thought I’d branch out and use a zucchini.
Don’t let the color make you shy away — it’s delicious. I discovered how much I loved zucchini lasagna, and I definitely feel the same way about this zucchini pasta. It definitely has the pasta texture to it, just without all the calories and carbs!
I recently was sent a World Cuisine Spiral Vegetable Slicer, and it’s one of the coolest tools I’ve ever used. So, I thought I’d do a brief tutorial on how to make vegetable pasta using a spiralizer. (Note – this tutorial is based on the World Cuisine Spiralizer; how you do this may be different depending on your machine!)
First, wash off the zucchini! Then, cut off the ends. If you don’t want it to have green on it, so it assembles “real” pasta, peel the zucchini as well. However, leaving the skin on adds more fiber to the dish, and really doesn’t add any weird textures or taste.
Select the cutter that is meant for making spaghetti-like pieces and place it on the machine. Firmly press one end of the zucchini against the circle part of the handle (on the left side of the machine), and then the other end firmly at the top of the right side of the machine.
Move the handle clockwise and push firmly on the slider until all the zucchini is spiralized.
Step Four (if you want to serve raw, without boiling. If you want to have boiled zucchini pasta, skip to step six):
To prepare the zucchini, place the noodles in a strainer, and sprinkle salt over it to bring out the moisture.
Place over a sink, or several paper towels, to catch the moisture. You will have to replace the paper towel several times, so I recommend just placing it over the sink.
After most the moisture is removed, serve!
Step Six (if boiling):
Bring a pot of water to a roaring boil. Place zucchini in water and oil for about three minutes. Drain in a strainer.
If you want some more delicious spiralized recipes, be sure to check out Inspiralized.com. The girl behind that site is brilliant — absolutely brilliant. My recipe “must-try” list keeps growing every time I look at her site!