If you have read much of my blog you know I am always trying to sneak healthy foods into my carnivore. I hide bananas in his blueberry muffins. I put shredded squash in his mac and cheese. I do just about anything to get him to get more nutrients from fruits and veggies. The problem is not only do I give myself away on the internet every time I publish a recipe, but I also can't stop grinning while we are eating one of my incognito concoctions. The carnivore always asks, "So, what did you put in this?" And I just smile and ask, "Do you like it?" The interrogation usually continues, "What is it? I know you put something in it. Just tell me." I just giggle and insist he either guess what it is or I will tell him at the end of the meal - once his plate is clean. The night I made this pasta dish he guessed my secret ingredient - I managed to get the carnivore to eat red peppers! I'm such a little devil...
To make this pasta (inspired from an old Real Simple magazine) you will need:
1 box of penne pasta
2 tblsp of olive oil
2 good sized bell peppers, seeded and sliced
1/2 tsp of kosher salt
1/2 tsp of ground pepper
1 garlic clove, sliced
1/8 tsp of red pepper flakes
1 can of diced tomatoes, drained well
fresh Italian herbs - basil, oregano, and parsley to taste
1 cup of ricotta
(2 Italian sausages - option to add to the carnivore bowl)
I started by boiling a large pot of water with a bit of salt. When at a rolling boil I added the pasta until cooked. I knew I couldn't get away with just sauteeing the red peppers and adding them plain to the pasta. So, I heated the oil in a pan. I added the peppers, garlic, salt and pepper. I cooked them till they were soft. I then transferred the peppers to my food processor and added the tomatoes and herbs. I blended them with the red pepper flakes and herbs until smooth. I transferred this mixture to a sauce pan and heated it over low heat while I waited on the pasta to boil. Once the pasta was ready I drained it and tossed it with a bit more olive oil. I then put a generous portion in two bowls and topped it with the sauce. I then dotted the plates with generous portions of ricotta. I also cooked a couple of sweet Italian sausages that I added to the carnivore's plate. A few sprinkles of salt and some fresh ground pepper and the devilish pasta was ready to be served.
Sneaky, I know, but the carnivore ate it up! And, he got the benefit of vitamin C and vitamin A (through its concentration of carotenoids such as beta-carotene), two very powerful antioxidants. So, see it was all for the greater good...even if it was a little devilish.