Green Ziti

Green Ziti?  Sounds a little off-putting, no?  I am so used to hearing ziti paired with a red sauce that a sauce of any other color just sounds criminal.  The other night when I wasn’t feeling too hot and wanted to zip up something relatively quickly, I decided to try Ziti with Roasted Green Peppers and Green Olives.  I have to tell you I was a little nervous if this would be well received at the dinner (judging) table… and the verdict was… Ryan could barely take a breath to tell me how much he liked it while he was shoveling the herby, briny pasta into his mouth.

It’s pretty simple to do AND I finally got to do something that I have been wanting to try out for awhile.  In our city kitchen, we had electrical burners and not gas so I could never roast peppers on an open flame.  If you have electrical burners, you can still broil the peppers in order to remove their skins – but roasting on an open flame is just more fun. Ryan walked in the kitchen and said I looked like a chef on chopped.

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Ziti with Roasted Green Peppers and Green Olives:

(serves 6)

Ingredients:

  • 2 green bell peppers
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup pitted green olives in brine, drained
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 cup fresh italian parsley
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons fresh oregano
  • 1 pound ziti
  • 4 oz of salami or dried italian sausage, chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 1 cup of grated or shredded parmesan cheese

Instructions:

Char bell peppers directly over the gas flame until it is blackened on all sides.  Place peppers in a bowl and cover until the peppers are cool.  Peel skin (easy under running water), stem and seed.  Cut the peppers into 1/4 inch strips.

While peppers are cooling, get your salted pasta water boiling.  When water comes to a boil, cook until tender, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.

While your food processor is running, drop in the garlic and the shallot until they are chopped coarsely.  Add the olives, parsley, oil and oregano and chop finely until it becomes almost like a pesto consistency.  Taste and season with salt and pepper.

When the pasta is finished, drain and return to the pot.  Stir in the peppers and the olive mixture to coat evenly.  Add the salami and cheese and toss to combine.  Serve warm.

This would also be a delicious and very flavorful vegetarian dish if you omit the salami.  I don’t even think I would miss the salami to be honest!

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