Pasta la Vista, Baby

peper and spinach pasta

When 80 Proof lived alone, he more or less ate pasta, with <gasp> jarred sauce, about 3 or 4 nights a week. Now that he has daily access to Chef Gansie, he hasn’t had a dinner of pasta in a couple months (not including my sides of pasta salad, of course.) So last night we ventured back to the days of pasta, but with no cheating – we made our own sauce.

Roasted Pepper and Spinach Sauce with Herbs de Provence Chicken over Angel Hair
(sorry for the long title!)

Start on the sauce and place one red and one orange pepper under the broiler until deeply charred on all sides. Then put the peppers in 2 layers of a brown bag and let steam.

Cut a large chicken breast into cubes. Marinate in evoo, kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper and a healthy handful of Herbs de Provence.

Fill a large pot with water – start to boil.

Take the frozen spinach out of the box and cut into chunks as best as possible.

When the water is starting to get hot, put the spinach in a mesh colander and place that in the water. The spinach will start to defrost and then, um, the water will turn green. Okay, so I don’t know if it made any difference, but I used that same water to cook the pasta. I’d like to think it gave it extra flavor, but I really have no idea. But it did look *interesting.*

Okay, back to the peppers. Under cold water, peel the blackened skin off, remove seeds and then chop coarsely. Add to blender. Add the spinach to the blender with some evoo, generous sprinkling of S&P and 2 cloves of crushed garlic – blend. Add some more evoo to get it going if necessary. Then add 1 tablespoon of cream cheese and some red wine (I happened to be drinking pinot noir) – blend. Squeeze in some lemon juice to get the flavors to pop. And, don’t kid yourself, add another tablespoon of cream cheese – blend. Taste. If you want it thinner, and some more wine (but save some for dinner!) or evoo, thicker – some more cream cheese.

And during this trial and error – cook the chicken cubes on a skillet and throw the whole wheat angel hair pasta in the boiling, salted, green water.

After about 3 minutes, the pasta should be done – drain and put that in your serving bowl. Add to that the chicken and then pour the sauce over. (The sauce will warm up from the pasta and chicken.) Grate parm cheese over top.

**The Dish**
The sauce was not too creamy and not too oily, perfect if you ask me. I would have liked some more garlic, though . The spinach was the stronger flavor, but there were distinct pepper notes as well. The Herbes de Provence chicken blended perfectly with the sauce, but was not overpowering. I went for thirds.

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  • Robyn August 28, 2007  

    I drooled on my keyboard when I saw that pasta dish. YUM.

  • 80 Proof August 30, 2007  

    Next time we make this, I want to add in some red pepper flakes to the sauce before it gets blended. Or maybe one slightly spicier pepper. I loved the sauce, but I think it would be even better with a kick.

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