This is such a great dish because you can make the sauce in advance and just heat it up when you’re ready to use it. Roasting the capsicum does take a little extra time but it adds so much flavour so it’s totally worth it. Plus a lot of this recipe can be made in the food processor/blender – yay for basic technology!
I add celery to my tomato sauce base to help develop flavour, for extra veg and because I can’t add onion. If you can eat onion then you can use that instead and I’ve added notes on how much to use.
The pecorino cheese is so delicious with the sweetness of the capsicum and slight bitterness of the rocket. If you can’t get your hands on pecorino then a well aged parmesan and lots of added black pepper will work too.
If you want to add some extra vegetables to this dish you could go half/half pasta and zoodles, like in this summery pasta recipe. It’s really up to you, I’ve done both and my preference tends to depend on how hungry I am and how many vegetables I’ve eaten that day. If it hasn’t been a good veg intake day then I usually throw in some zucchini noodles so I can feel saintly. And then eat some chocolate for dessert because balance.
Speaking of getting extra vegetables in your diet I’m a big one for planning your meals to make sure I do this. You can check out my meal plans, there’s a completely vegetarian menu and a mixed one for those just wanting to eat more vegetables but aren’t ready to let go of meat (me!). They also include shopping lists and are FREE.
If that level of effort seems like too much then you can always try a food delivery service, like Marley Spoon, that will plan all your meals, portion the ingredients and you get fresh produce delivered to your door. They usually have at least two vegetarian options too, so it’s a great way to try being a part time vegetarian if you’ve been meaning to! This was you still get to cook and have control over what goes in but it’s less effort. You can use the code HEALTHYHUNTER at check out for $35 off your first order – yay! (This is an affiliate link which means I earn a commission if you decide to purchase from them – I like to be transparent with you all!)
Back to this simple, delicious and vibrant pasta. Food that’s this bright in colour just makes me want to dive right in. If you have extra sauce freeze it and then you’ve got an easy quick meal in the future. I love when I can’t be bothered cooking (yes this even happens to me) and I remember I put something delicious in the freezer.
The sauce somehow manages to be fresh and rich at the same time, it coats the pasta really well so you have flavour in each moutful – yum!
2 cloves garlic, skin on
1 Tbs olive oil
2 sticks of celery (or half a brown onion if not fructose sensitive)
1 can of organic tomatoes
1 Tbs freshly grated pecorino cheese
3 cups of rocket
1/2 cup shaved pecorino cheese
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Place whole capsicum and garlic cloves on the tray and roast for 15 minutes, remove garlic and continue to roast capsicums for 10-15 minutes or until capsicums have started to collapse and the skin is blackened in spots.
Meanwhile finely chop the celery. Heat the olive oil in a medium pot and add the celery. Cook until softened. add the tomatoes and simmer for 15 minutes over low heat. Season.
Once capsicums are cool enough to handle remove the stems, seeds and blackened skin. Add to the celery and tomato mix, squeeze in the roasted garlic and Tbs of pecorino. Transfer this mixture to a blender or use a stick blender to blend until smooth.
Cook pasta according to packet instructions. Drain when al dente, reserving 1/2 cup of cooking liquid. Toss the linguini in the sauce, if too dry add reserved pasta water.
Serve topped with rocket, pecorino, a crack of black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.