Wednesday, July 8, 2009

devilish pasta

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.


  1. This is a great idea. Fortunately, my husband is more of an omnivore, but I'm thinking that the kidlets would benefit from more of this kind of devilry from me. (I currently load my homemade pancakes with sweet potato puree, but I can always use a great idea like this.) I'm wondering if you could also add a little heavy cream to the sauce? Not sure if that fits your diet, but it would make for a beautiful pink cream sauce. Again, thinking of the kids! (Yeah, right :) )

    Anyway, I found you on TasteSpotting and am writing to say that if you have any photos that aren’t accepted there, I’d love to publish them. Visit my new site (below), it’s a lot of fun! I hope you will consider it.


  2. i must say tastspotting has been giving me lots of love lately (6 out of my last 7), but foodgawker has not been as kind. i love the idea of your site and will keep you in mind. there is definitely a need for a place like your site out there!

  3. this looks great!


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