ROASTED RED PEPPER RECIPES: Ravioli-Tomato Salad with Basil . . . Pasta with Scallops and Roasted Red Pepper Pesto
By: Herald Wire Reports,
Ravioli-Tomato Salad with Basil
2 red bell peppers
10 ounces cheese ravioli (see note)
1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes
¾ cup basil leaves
¾ cup mixed good quality olives, halved and pitted
2 small pepperoncini, seeded and minced (optional, see note)
3 tablespoons capers, rinsed
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, divided
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
Cut each bell pepper in half lengthwise and remove stems and seeds. Score the curved edges and press lightly so peppers lay flat. Place on a baking sheet under a hot broiler. Broil until the skins blacken. Remove from oven and place a damp paper towel on top. Cool, then remove blackened skins. Cut peppers into thin strips about 2 inches long.
Cut tomatoes in half. Cut basil leaves into shreds. Combine tomatoes and basil in a bowl with pepper strips, olives, pepperoncini, capers, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon vinegar, salt and pepper. Blend well. Set aside.
Cook ravioli according to directions. Test for tenderness, then drain and cool briefly. Cut each ravioli in half on diagonal, then toss with vegetable mix; marinate at room temperature 30 minutes. Toss with remaining olive oil and vinegar. Adjust seasonings if needed and serve at room temperature. (Refrigerate if making longer than 1 hour ahead, but return to room temperature before serving.)
Note: A cheese ravioli with feta is a nice flavor in this salad. (Any other cheese blend will do.) Pepperoncini is a mildly spicy pickled peppers from Greece, but another pickled pepper can be used.
Yield: Serves 6.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 228 calories, 5.5 grams protein, 14.3 grams fat (2.9 grams saturated), 20.7 grams carbohydrates, 921 milligrams sodium, 3.7 milligrams cholesterol.
Pasta with Scallops and Roasted Red Pepper Pesto
3 cloves garlic, unpeeled
¾ cup roasted red peppers, patted dry and coarsely chopped
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup low-fat ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 small shallot, peeled, minced
1½ teaspoons fresh thyme, minced
Kosher salt and pepper to taste
½ pound pasta (about 3 cups dry)
½ pound dry (not soaked in water) sea scallops, patted dry
Place garlic in a skillet over medium heat. Toast garlic, shaking pan often, until skins are spotty brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove garlic, cool and then peel and coarsely chop.
In food processor place garlic, peppers, Parmesan and ricotta cheese, parsley, 1 tablespoon olive oil, shallot, thyme and ¼ teaspoon salt; process until smooth. Transfer to bowl. Season as needed with salt and black pepper.
At this point, pesto can be covered with plastic wrap (press wrap directly onto surface of pesto) and refrigerated as many as 3 days.
Bring large pot of water to a boil for pasta. Season with kosher salt. Add pasta. Cook, stirring often, until al dente. When done, reserve 1 cup of pasta cooking water and drain pasta.
Heat remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in same skillet in which garlic was toasted. Season scallops with salt and pepper. Add to skillet. Sear until nicely browned on each side, 3 minutes each side for 1½- to 2-inch diameter scallops. Add pesto to cooked pasta and toss to combine. Add reserved pasta water a little at a time until it’s a sauce consistency. Place in serving bowls and top with seared scallops.
Yield: Serves 2 (generously).
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 440 calories, 13 grams fat (4 grams saturated), 46 grams carbohydrates, 34 grams protein, 647 milligrams sodium, 56 milligrams cholesterol, 3 grams fiber.