Tag Archives: pasta

Howdy y’all!


This may come as quite a shock, but I am still alive. It’s been a tumultuous past two months, and I moved to Texas. Texas! What? How can one be vegan in Texas? In the interest of full disclosure, I am sure many can be vegan in Texas, but I haven’t been. I have been vegetarian. I went back on the cheese, and am having a hard time giving it up again. I told you this would be a haphazard journey. Anyway, Texas is interesting, and muggy, and buggy. I have been cooking up a storm, but to keep the integrity of my blog’s title, I will only post the vegan recipes I make. Last nights was Roasted Red Pepper Marinara with Penne. And it was good. I love pasta with a tomato sauce. It’s one of my comfort foods. It was always the dinner I requested as a kid for my birthday. I make it a lot, and love when I can try something different. This is really tasty, and has a really good flavor compared to other marinaras. My camera was doing weird stuff last night, so I couldn’t get a picture before all the delicious liquid started oozing on my plate, so it’s not as pretty as it could have been, but it was tasty.

Roasted Red Pepper Marinara Sauce with Penne

2 tbsp olive oil, divided
1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups coarsely chopped roasted red peppers (you can be lazy and buy bottled, or you can be amazing, and roast your own. I’ll tell you how)
1 tbsp dried basil
3/4 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1/4 tsp salt
2 cans diced tomatoes, undrained
6 cups hot cooked penne (about 3 cups uncooked)

1. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in large sauce pan or dutch oven, over medium/high heat. Add onions and garlic and saute until tender. Add bell peppers and the remaining ingredients, omitting the penne and last tbsp olive oil. Bring to a boil.
2. Reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and add last tbsp olive oil. Now here is where you can decide if you want this really chunky, or saucy. I wanted saucy, so I put about 3/4s of the sauce in a blender and then combined it all. You can leave it whole, mashed it up, or blend the whole thing. Your choice. Serve over penne and enjoy.

How to roast red peppers

2 red peppers, stems removed, and washed.

You can either do this in the oven, or onĀ  your grill. I do it on the grill because I live in freaking Texas and it’s hot as hell here, and I don’t want to heat up my house anymore than necessary. So turn on your grill, or oven, to around 425 degrees. Place peppers directly on grate. Turn occasionally until the outside is all black and charred looking. Place peppers in a paper bag and allow to cool. Then peel all the burnt skin off of the peppers and discard the skin. What you have left is delicious roasted red peppers. Mmmm.


Back to Basics


I have been in a bit of a funk lately and really needed to get my ass in the kitchen and do some cooking. Problem was, I lacked motivation. I really didn’t feel like spending hours, or even A hour in the kitchen cooking something stunning. I am tired of being the only person in my house impressed by my cooking, since lets face it, the kids just don’t appreciate good food like I do. So tonight I wanted to keep it simple. And I did. And it was stunning. I turned on Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black album and went into the kitchen and got to cooking. I bought a huge bag of brussels sprouts last week and hadn’t used any yet, so I made Crispy Lemon Roasted Brussels Sprouts that I found here http://whatsgabycooking.com/crispy-lemon-roasted-brussels-sprouts/ and I made Spaghetti Aglio, Olio, e Peperoncino. Which means spaghetti with garlic, olive oil, and peppers. Oh my. So simple and yet so amazing. It took almost no time and yet I was blown away by how good it was. It will definitely be on my regular menu, and I have leftovers. Yay lunch!

So I put the brussels sprouts in the oven and mopped the floor for the first part of the roasting. Stirred them up a bit and started boiling the salted water for the pasta. While that was cooking I chopped up the garlic and danced around my house because Winehouse was amazing and the perfect mood lifter. I accidentally over roasted my sprouts so the were a little crispier than intended, but still amazing…or at least I thought so. My two older kids plugged their noses to eat them, but the younger two ate them up like candy. Such little foodies. I thoroughly enjoyed it and it helped me feel a little less down, even if I was the only adult to enjoy my food.

Spaghetti Aglio, Olio, e Peperoncino

7 oz spaghetti
3-5 cloves of garlic, minced. (The amount of garlic you use is entirely up to you. If you aren’t in love with garlic, and have intentions of getting laid later on in the evening, go with 3, or even 2. I am in love with garlic, and have no prospects for a lay, so I went with 5, it was good.)
1 1/2 tsp crushed chili pepper flakes
1/4-1/3 cups extra virgin olive oil (you really want good olive oil here since you are really going to taste it)
3/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Cook spaghetti according to package. You are going to want good pasta and to cook it al dente. Strain spaghetti and put in large bowl or serving dish. Top with garlic, chili pepper flakes, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Toss to combine.

And that’s it. That is all you have to do and it is so very good. The lemony brussels sprouts were a perfect partner for this, but some salad and crusty bread to mop up the olive oil would have also worked wonderfully.