|Roasted pepper and Goat Cheese Pasts|
The other day we took a trip to a small southern Okanagan Valley community surrounded by fruit orchards, fruit stands, local wineries, farmlands and rolling desert hills. The community of Oliver neighbours the Sonora Desert (Canada's only desert) thus enjoying an arid climate producing vineyards and orchards of apples, plums, cherries, pears and peaches.
The main purpose of our trip was to volunteer at the Okanagan Gleaners.This society takes vegetables that would normally have been wasted and turn them into soup mixes. They also process and dry apples and pears. The Okanagan Gleaners is run solely on volunteer power and donations. Volunteers are always welcome to come help for a day, a week, or a month! The society produces mainly dried soup mix packaged into "100-serving" sealed plastic bags. Seventy of these bags are sealed into drums and shipped to various agencies around the world for the hungry and needy children of the world. Of course since we were in prime southern wine country we also had our arms twisted and visited several wineries along the way and had an afternoon at the beach.
Vegetable growing season is in full swing so what better way to highlight the season by making a delicious pasta dish !!! Pureeing the roasted peppers into a sauce is an easy way to add a generous vegetable serving to a meal. Peppers are an excellent source of vitamin C, and when roasted they still retain substantial amounts of this important vitamin. To make this a vegetarian dish, substitute vegetable broth for chicken broth. Also I added a mixture of my favourite heirloom tomatoes on top for a delicious garnish and a boost of flavour.
**Roasted Pepper and Goat Cheese Pasta**
3 large red bell peppers (about 1 1/2 pounds)5 teaspoons olive oil, divided
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
4 cups hot cooked bow tie pasta (8 ounces uncooked)
1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled goat cheese
Cut bell peppers in half lengthwise; discard seeds and membranes. Place pepper halves, skin sides up, on a foil-lined baking sheet; flatten with hand. Broil 8 minutes or until blackened. Place peppers in a zip-top plastic bag; seal. Let stand 20 minutes. Peel; place peppers in a blender.
Heat 2 teaspoons oil in small skillet over medium heat. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Remove from heat; let stand 5 minutes. Add garlic mixture, remaining 1 tablespoon oil, broth, and next 5 ingredients (through red pepper) to blender with peppers; process until smooth. Combine bell pepper mixture and basil with pasta. Sprinkle with goat cheese.
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