Tag Archives: bell pepper

VegWeek Day 5, Mexican-inspired Vegan Rice & Beans

29 Sep

“Let food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food.”
-Hippocrates

VegWeek_2011Welcome to Day 5 of VegWeek – we’re almost to the end! There are a number of great documentaries out on the state of our food system, and if you have Netflix, many of these are available on-demand. There’s a new documentary that just came out this year, called Forks Over Knives. It promotes a vegan diet from the health perspective. As I mentioned on Monday, health concerns are one of the reasons many people opt to reduce or eliminate animal products from their diet.

Forks-Over-Knives

Meat-eating has been linked to a plethora of diseases, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, prostate cancer, colon cancer, breast cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, and multiple sclerosis. According to the film’s stats, a person is killed by heart disease every minute in the United States, and 1500 a day die from cancer – over one million combined a year. A third of people born today will develop diabetes in their lifetime.

Forks Over Knives tells the story of two doctors, Dr. T. Colin Campbell and Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., whose independent research ultimately brought them to the same conclusion: the simple prescription of a whole foods, plant-based diet could reverse the leading causes of death in the world today. Specifically, this diet includes whole, minimally refined fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes, and avoidance of animal-based foods such as meat, dairy, and eggs, as well as processed foods like bleached flour, refined sugars, and oil.

The film details the history of the American diet and shows how the rise in processed foods and meat consumption directly correlated with a rise in heart disease and cancer. These findings were common throughout the world, in places where the American diet is new, as well as places where meats and dairy have been scarce for a time due to war and poverty. When the meat is gone, disease decreases. When it’s back, disease is on the rise.

To further explore this idea, Dr. Campbell conducted a test with rats, to see how they responded to casein, the main protein in dairy products. The rats’ intake of casein was adjusted between of 5% and 20% of overall diet – the increase our culture has seen – at three-week intervals. Rates of cancer followed this single change, down and up and down again. “This was so provocative, this information,” says Campbell. “We could turn on and off cancer growth just by adjusting the level of that protein.”

There’s so much more valuable information in this documentary, but you’ll have to watch it to learn the rest. I hope you will. Do your research – decide for yourself.

Everyone knows the old adage, “you are what you eat.” If I think of myself being a cow or a chicken or a goat, that might not be so bad. There’s kind of a cool, reincarnationey feeling about it. When I think of myself being a frightened, abused, diseased cow or chicken or goat, it gets a bit harder to stomach. But then, think of this – you are what you eat and everything that you ate, ate. What comes to mind when you think about grazing cattle? Grass, bugs… dandelions? How about feathers, hair, skin, hooves, and blood? Manure? Plastic? All these and more get digested by factory farmed animals and show up in their meat. Chew on that next time you’re craving a burger. [Source: Union of Concerned Scientists]

you are what you eatAnother problem with our diet is the cost of food. Fast food is cheap, loaded with instantly gratifying flavor including massive amounts of sodium, which we’ve our palates adjust to, and, well – it’s fast. Convenient. Logical… There is a distinct correlation between obesity and economic status. But education and awareness could be factors, too. Here is a great article to debunk this commonly held, woe-to-us idea. Food for thought, if you will.
New York Times: Is Junk Food Really Cheaper?

Still not convinced? Eat a vegan diet and you, too, can be buff!

Vegan bodybuilders Derek Tresize and Robert Cheeke debunking the myth about plant foods and building muscle. Image via Forks Over Knives.

Mexican-inspired Vegan Rice and Beans

Rice and beans is a humble, staple kind of dish, but I never thought to make it until I caught a quick glimpse of the hottie firemen in Forks Over Knives making it. I love jasmine rice and black beans, and had a host of great companion veggies on-hand, so I decided to try it.

Rip EsselstynHonestly, though, this guy could convince me to eat almost anything.

I love how versatile this dish is, and that it’s a one-dish meal. It’s perfect for workweek lunches. Last week, I made my rice and beans with garlic, red onion, bell pepper, lime juice, avocado, and cilantro.

rice & beans

This week, I decided to try out some “El Burrito Soyrizo.” (Man, I love the name! Had to buy it.) Veggies included were shallot, bell pepper, tomatillo, tomato, lime juice, avocado, and cilantro.

soyrizo rice & beans

My preparation from the first night is below. But go ahead and experiment with this dish, and whatever veggies you have. Olives? Jalapenos? Spices? Vegan cheese crumbles? The sky is the limit!

1 cup jasmine or other rice
2 1/2 cups water
1 (14 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon neutral oil, such as safflower
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped into bite-sized pieces
Juice of 1 lime
1 avocado, sliced into cubes and scooped
Fresh cilantro, for garnish

Prepare rice according to package directions. Saute garlic until just lightly browned, then add in onion and bell pepper. Cook until slightly softened, between 5 and 10 minutes, then add black beans and rice to warm through. Garnish with lime juice, avocado, and cilantro.

VegWeek Day 4, Spicy-Sweet Butternut Chili

28 Sep

“Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.”
-Albert Einstein

VegWeek_2011 Aside from being cruel to animals, the grand-scale farming practices of today are destroying the earth. A few stats for you, courtesy of Peta:

*According to the United Nations, raising animals for food (including land used for grazing and land used to grow feed crops) now uses a staggering 30 percent of the Earth’s land mass. More than 260 million acres of U.S. forest have been cleared to create cropland to grow grain to feed farmed animals, and according to scientists at the Smithsonian Institution, the equivalent of seven football fields of land is bulldozed worldwide every minute to create more room for farmed animals.

*Raising animals for food is grossly inefficient. While people around the world are starving, more than 70 percent of the grain and cereals that we grow in this country are fed to farmed animals. It takes up to 16 pounds of grain to produce just 1 pound of meat, and even fish on fish farms must be fed up to 5 pounds of wild-caught fish to produce 1 pound of farmed fish flesh.

*It takes more than 2,400 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of meat, while growing 1 pound of wheat only requires 25 gallons. You save more water by not eating a pound of meat than you do by not showering for six months! A totally vegan diet requires only 300 gallons of water per day, while a typical meat-eating diet requires more than 4,000 gallons of water per day.

*It takes more than 11 times as much fossil fuel to make one calorie from animal protein as it does to make one calorie from plant protein.

*According to Greenpeace, all the wild animals and trees in more than 2.9 million acres of the Amazon rain forest in Brazil were destroyed in the 2004-2005 crop season in order to grow crops that are used to feed chickens and other animals in factory farms.

*According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the runoff from factory farms pollutes our waterways more than all other industrial sources combined. There are no meaningful federal guidelines that regulate how factory farms treat, store, and dispose of the trillions of pounds of concentrated, untreated animal excrement they produce each year. This waste may be left to rot in huge lagoons or sprayed over crop fields; both of these disposal methods result in runoff that contaminates the soil and water and kills fish and other wildlife. The concentration of parasites, bacteria, and chemical contaminants in animal excrement can wreak havoc on the ecosystems affected by farm runoff and can sicken people who live near these farms.

*Many of the millions of pounds of excrement and other bodily waste produced by farmed animals every day in the U.S. are stored in sprawling, brown lagoons. These lagoons often seep or spill into surrounding waterways and kill massive numbers of fish and other animals. The massive amounts of feces, fish carcasses, and antibiotic-laced fish food that settle below fish farm cages also contribute to water pollution and have actually caused the ocean floor to rot in some areas.

*A Consumers Union study in Texas found that animal feedlots in the state produce more than 14 million pounds of particulate dust every year and that the dust “contains biologically active organisms such as bacteria, mold, and fungi from the feces and the feed.” The massive amounts of excrement produced by these farms emit toxic gases such as hydrogen sulfide and ammonia into the air.

animal planet
Responsibility as spirituality – we are all connected.

“This food is the gift of the whole universe – the earth, the sky, and much hard work. May we live in a way that is worthy of this food. May we transform our unskillful states of mind, especially that of greed. May we eat only foods that nourish us and prevent illness. May we accept this food for the realization of the way of understanding and love.”

-The Five Contemplations
Thich Nhat Hanh
Living Buddha, Living Christ

A few years ago, I had the good luck to hear Thich Nhat Hanh speak at USD. The subject of his talk was how to create peace in the world, but for the first half of it, he talked about mindfulness in everyday life. He talked about walking barefoot and feeling the ground under your feet. He talked about eating slowly, with attention, without distractions. He talked about meditation. He spoke softly, and people were leaving the auditorium in droves. But then, almost imperceptibly, his message became exponentially larger. He said that when we eat slowly and contemplate our food, we think about where it comes from, and we touch the suffering of the world. When we eat a cow, we see how that cow suffered. We see the enormous amounts of food and water that were spent to raise it, and all the starving people in the world who do not have food or water. Our awareness then informs our choices.

His call was for personal responsibility, and many people missed the message. I think that’s a good illustration for the world at large. Most change happens slowly, in small ways, and it begins with you and me.

for the children

Vegan Butternut Squash Chili

Recipe Source: Adapted from Gluten-Free Goddess

This chili is a much more colorful and varied version of the typical meat-and-beans version you may be used to. It’s also a bit on the brothy side, kind of a cross between chili and soup.

Personally, I felt it was a bit too sweet, especially considering that the fire-roasted tomatoes and butternut squash add a little natural sweetness of their own. So I’ve omitted the agave nectar and balsamic vinegar from the original recipe, and doubled the spices. I used a poblano pepper and then ended up dumping in some Tabasco, so a combination of peppers (maybe poblano + jalapeno?) might be a good idea. And if you’re not into the heat, of course, you can try it the original way!

I also omitted the celery because I didn’t have any on-hand and don’t particularly like it, and used some fresh ginger to supplement the powdered when I ran out. Next time, I think I’ll use a trio of black, red, and white beans, rather than two cans of black. Basically – there’s a lot going on in this soup, so feel free to experiment!

vegan butternut chili

1 tablespoon neutral-flavored oil
3-6 cloves garlic, to taste, minced
2 teaspoons each: cumin, chili powder, and ginger
1 medium red or white onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, diced
1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded, diced
2 cups butternut squash, cubed
3 cups gluten-free broth
1 (28-oz) can Muir Glen Fire Roasted Whole Tomatoes , diced or broken up, with juice
1 cup chopped green chiles, mild or hot, as you prefer
2 (14-oz) cans black beans , rinsed, drained
1 (14-oz) can white Northern beans , or red kidney beans, rinsed, drained
lime juice, avocado, and cilantro for garnish

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat, add the spices, and stir to heat through for a minute. Add onions and stir for 2-3 minutes, then add the remaining ingredients except the lime. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally until chili has reached the desired consistency. Add a little more broth if needed, to thin. Cook for an hour or so until all the flavors have combined and the sauce is thickened and rich.

Before serving, squeeze in the juice from half a lime; stir. Taste test for seasoning adjustments – more lime? A pinch of salt? More heat? A touch of agave? You decide.

Serves 8-10.

Easy Breakfast Frittata

23 Jun

The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don’t want, drink what you don’t like, and do what you’d rather not.
-Mark Twain

Recipe Source: Adapted from Stone Soup

French pastries

I went on vacation this month. Two weeks in France. I walked a lot there. I slept very little. And I ate A LOT. Among the few French phrases I know are joie de vivre and bon vivant, and I decided to practice them whole-heartedly. But two weeks of a diet rich in croissant and pastries (have you seen the pastries over there?!!), and a notable lack of fiber, fruit and vegetables takes its toll, so like all good moderates, I am now doing my post-vacation penance.

Help scale

Incidentally, I stumbled upon this article – Your Summer Swimsuit Strategy – on my first day back home. I highly recommend it for a good laugh to combat the imminent beach-body insecurities looming on the horizon.

For the next few weeks, I’ll be practicing a low-carb, low-sugar diet. Low processed foods, really. My thinking on this method has changed somewhat since I followed the South Beach Diet a few years ago, especially with the reduction of animal products in my diet. This time around, I’ll be focusing on vegetables, legumes and nuts, with the occasional egg or cheese product added for protein/flavor, lean meats such as chicken or fish a few times a week, rare splurges of bacon, and fruit reserved for breakfast and dessert.

Low-carb dietI recently came across this simple breakfast idea from Jules at Stone Soup, a frittata that is baked in the oven rather than over the stove. It’s incredibly easy to make and the flavor combinations are endless. She uses a springform pan and four eggs, which makes enough frittata to feed me for almost a week. Sadly, my springform is old and doesn’t spring open anymore (not to mention a bit rusty), but I’ve found that a glass pie dish works just as well.

I like to use 2-3 add-ins, with everything finely diced so that I can eat this easily at my desk with just a fork. This morning’s frittata was made of garlic and shallots, sauteed together for about 5 minutes with a bit of butter; mushrooms and bell pepper I threw in raw; and a handful of parmesan and spices. As you can tell from my ingredient suggestions below, I treat this dish basically like a crustless quiche. I’m not sure if it’s still by definition a frittata with these mix-ins, but it’s my blog and I can do what I want so there.

frittata ingredients

A few fillings you might want to try ~

meats such as ham, bacon, turkey, or sausage
onions, red or yellow, or shallots – raw, sauteed to translucence, or carmelized, or fresh diced scallions
fresh veggies such as tomatoes, spinach, zucchini, summer squash, eggplant, or bell peppers
packaged veggies such as olives or sun-dried tomatoes
cheeses such as feta, parmesan, or pepperjack
herbs and spices such as oregano or herbs de provence

frittata slice

RECIPE – Easy Breakfast Frittata (the basic method)
serves 2

I’m so glad I discovered the trick of baking frittatas in a spring form pan, as opposed to the old school high maintenance frying pan method. So much easier to mix the egg with your flavouring then pop in the oven to bake for 15 minutes while you do other things. My type of dinner.

Feel free to play around with the filling. Tomatoes are lovely, as are different cheeses, canned chickpeas work a treat or fresh asparagus in the spring. So many possibilities.

2 zucchini (courgettes), sliced into rounds
4 eggs
2 handfuls grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200C).

Heat a large frying pan (skillet) on a medium heat. Add a little olive oil and cook zucchini, stirring occasionally until they are tender.

Combine eggs and parmesan and season.

Line a 20cm (8in) spring form pan with baking paper and grease the base and sides with butter or oil. Spoon the zucchini in then pour over the egg mixture.

Bake for 15 minutes or until golden and puffy.

Quinoa-Stuffed Bell Peppers

2 Feb

Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all.
~Harriet Van Horne

Recipe source: Good Cheap Eats

stuffed red bell pepper

When cooking for guests, it’s always nice to have a “stunner” recipe in your repertoire – something that is beautiful to the eye, complex to the palate, enticing to the nose, and kind to the stomach. This is just such a recipe. It can be made as a main course or side dish, and is friendly to vegetarians and Celiacs alike.

The first step of this recipe is to prepare the filling. And the filling is so good, you might just want to stop there! (No, seriously… it’s great even by itself as a one-dish meal. Don’t fret if you have extra!)

Begin by cooking quinoa, carrots, and water in a covered saucepan for about 20 minutes.

carrots & quinoa

At the same time, saute onion, celery, and poblano pepper, season with cumin and garlic, and then add in sliced mushrooms and drained canned tomatoes.

onions & peppers

When the quinoa is tender, stir in black beans, shredded pepperjack cheese*, and the onion mixture. Your filling is now ready.

*Taste tip: You can make these vegan by omitting the cheese. Entertaining bonus! Everyone is welcome. 🙂

yummy quinoa mixture

Next, pour liquid from tomatoes into the bottom of a baking dish (a 9×13 glass dish worked well for me) and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. If you’re making this recipe as a side, slice the bell peppers in half vertically and scoop out the seeds and as much membrane as possible.

*Shopping tip: For this serving especially, try to find peppers with the shallowest bottom possible. The curvier your peppers are, the less room you will have to fill them inside. After cutting one open, you’ll see what I mean.

stuffed green bell peppers

If these are going to be a main dish, cut only the tops off the peppers. If you reserve them, they make cute little hats at the dinner table! You can get creative with the colors of peppers you serve as well – I stuffed red and green peppers for a Christmas dinner last year.

stuffed red & yellow bell peppers

Fill each bell pepper with a heaping serving of filling, and place in the baking dish. Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes, then uncover and sprinkle each pepper with a bit more cheese. Bake for another 15 minutes and let stand 5 minutes before serving.

RECIPE – Quinoa-Stuffed Bell Peppers

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 ribs celery, finely chopped
1/2 of a poblano pepper, diced
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (8 oz.) pkg. mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes, drained, liquid reserved
3/4 cup quinoa
1 1/2 cups grated carrot
1 3/4 cups water
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cups grated reduced-fat pepper Jack cheese, divided
4 large bell peppers, halved lengthwise to serve 8 or tops removed to serve 4

Heat oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, celery, and poblano pepper and cook 5 minutes, or until soft. Add cumin and garlic, and sauté 1 minute. Stir in mushrooms and drained tomatoes. Cook 5 minutes, or until most of the liquid has evaporated.

In a separate saucepan with a lid, stir in quinoa, carrots, and water. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 20 minutes, or until quinoa is tender. Combine quinoa and carrots with black beans, 1 cup of cheese, and the onion mixture from the first step. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Pour reserved liquid from tomatoes into the bottom of a baking dish.

Fill each bell pepper half with heaping 3/4-cup of quinoa mixture, and place in baking dish. Cover with foil and bake 40 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle each pepper with 1 tablespoon of remaining cheese. Bake 15 minutes more, or until tops of stuffed peppers are browned. Let stand 5 minutes. Transfer stuffed peppers to serving plates and drizzle with pan juices before serving.

Serves 4 as a main dish or 8 as a side.

Roasted Red Pepper & Goat Cheese Sandwich

8 Oct

Recipe Source: Feasts and Fotos blog (recipe adapted from Ina Garten)

Today, friend, I have a most delicious sandwich for you. It’s a little oily, a little slippery, a little messy – it’s not a sandwich to eat over your keyboard or in front of someone you’re hoping to impress. This is a sandwich to be savored. Eat it when you can lick your fingers, pick up all the peppers that have squeezed themselves out of your sandwich, reassemble sandwich, lick fingers, and so on and so forth.

It’s a bit of work to prepare in the front-end, but you can make several peppers at once, and – did I mention it was delicious? – it’s delicious enough to be worth it.

If possible, prep the peppers a day in advance to maximize their flavors. To prep them (4 or 5 at a time), place the peppers whole in a baking sheet with sides and roast in a 475-degree oven for one hour, until charred. Turn once or twice during roasting. Then remove from the oven and cover the peppers with foil in their pan. Leave to sweat and cool, about 30 minutes. When cooled enough to touch, peel the peppers and remove the seeds.

Say no to carcinogens!

I found the easiest way to do this was to keep the stem intact and peel off the skin in as large of sections as possible. Some of the flesh underneath will be black, but you’ll be able to distinguish the inner and outer layers because the outside will be matte. Once you’ve removed all the skin, pull the stem off, turn the pepper inside out, and scrape out the seeds. This is fun if you like slimy things… just in time for Halloween?

peeled peppers

In a medium bowl with lid, mix together olive oil, balsamic, smashed garlic, capers, chopped parsley, chopped basil and some salt & pepper to taste, and mix in the peppers well. Cover and let sit for a day to let the peppers meld together.

marinated red peppers

When you’re ready to assemble the sandwich, spread goat cheese on both sides and top with basil, thinly sliced red onion, and marinated pepper. I really liked this on toasted French bread. And confession, I was out of basil here, so I used spring mix. Still yummy!

roasted red pepper & goat cheese sandwich

RECIPE – Roasted Pepper and Goat Cheese Sandwich

4-5 large red bell peppers
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
2-3 cloves garlic, smashed
1 tablespoon capers
1 teaspoon chopped parsley
1 teaspoon chopped basil
5-6 large basil leaves, whole
goat cheese
good bread
red onion, sliced paper thin (optional)

the peppers:
Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Place the whole peppers on a sheet pan and place in the oven for 40-50 minutes, until the skins are wrinkled and charred. Turn once or twice during cooking. Remove from oven and immediately cover tightly with aluminum foil and set aside for at least 30 minutes. You don’t want to burn your little fingers. Once they are cool enough to handle, peel all the skins off each pepper and remove the seeds and stem. Rip the flesh of the peppers into thick strips and put them in a bowl with their juices. To the bowl add the olive oil, balsamic, smashed garlic, capers, chopped parsley, chopped basil and some salt & pepper to taste. Voila, the peppers are done! I like to let this mixture blend for a few hours or even a day before preparing the sandwich, so the smashed garlic has a chance to flavor the peppers and oil. I prefer to add the whole garlic cloves smashed instead of chopping the garlic, eliminating the risk of eating a raw piece of garlic in the sandwich. These peppers will stay in the fridge covered for up to one week (if they last that long).

the sandwich:
Toast bread. Spread each half with goat cheese, and lay as many basil leaves in a single layer as will fit on your bread slice, and thinkly sliced red onion on top of that. Lay the red pepper slices on top of the basil leaves, cover with the other slice of bread and enjoy!

Roasted Red Pepper Pasta

14 Jun

Recipe source: Pioneer Woman

Besides being pasta (an obvious winning quality) and pasta with a cream sauce no less (no-brainer), I was also drawn to this recipe because it meant trying something new: roasting peppers.

I don’t have a grill, so the first time I made this, I roasted the peppers in a small toaster oven. That took about a year. So this time I tried using my cast-iron grill pan, preheated to smoking before I put the peppers on it. It still was a long process… about half an hour long. While I love Pioneer Woman, this is not the first time I’ve found her cooking times WAY off. The next time I do this I will either broil them in my full oven or put the peppers directly on the burner.

That being said, you may have noticed that I never include prep time in the recipes I post. I find them completely useless, because everyone has a different skill level. And on a lot of recipes, they are still flat-out wrong. I think it’s better to just read through a recipe, know thyself, and get a feel for it beforehand. Okay, /diatribe.

With the addition of some red pepper flakes for kick, this is a pretty yummy recipe. The first step is to char three red bell peppers.

roasted peppers

Once blackened, remove peppers from the flame and place them into a large Ziploc bag to sweat.

sweatin' peppers(Is it bad that this picture makes me think of Laura Palmer?)

Meanwhile, set a large pot of water to boil for pasta. I used farfalle (aka bowtie), Pioneer Woman used orecchiette. Penne would also be good. Toast pine nuts in a skillet, stirring often to prevent burning. Remove from heat when nuts become golden brown and fragrant.

pine nuts(This is probably too dark… I got distracted!)

Then peel the charred skin from peppers and remove seeds. You will note my paper towel… these keep their heat for a while, and despite one cooking teacher’s advice to toughen up my hands to burning (*cough* no names), I am a wimp.

peeling peppers

In a food processor or blender, puree peppers and pine nuts.

food processor

In a medium skillet, heat oil and sautee diced onion and garlic. Puree with peppers and pine nuts, then pour sauce into skillet and add salt and red pepper flakes.

sauce

Heat sauce over medium-high flame and add cream. Reduce sauce slightly and keep warm until pasta is fully cooked.

sauce

Toss with pasta, top with chopped parsley and Parmesan, and serve.

roasted red pepper pasta

RECIPE – Roasted Red Pepper Pasta

3 whole red bell peppers
2 tablespoons pine nuts
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 medium onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup heavy cream
Flat leaf parsley, minced
Fresh Parmesan, shaved or grated
1/2 to 1 pound pasta: Orecchiette, Penne, Fusilli, Etc.

Roast red peppers, and then place in a Ziploc bag to allow to sweat. Peel the charred skins from the peppers, then remove seeds. Set aside.

Lightly toast pine nuts in a skillet. Set aside.

Puree peppers with pine nuts. Set aside.

Cook pasta according to package directions.

In a skillet or pot over medium heat, drizzle in olive oil. Add diced onions and garlic and cook until soft. Pour in pepper puree and stir together. Add salt and red pepper flakes. Pour in cream and stir to combine. Taste and add more salt, if necessary. Add cooked pasta, and then stir together.

Place pasta into a bowl, top with chopped parsley and plenty of shaved Parmesan.