Roasting red peppers until their skin is bubbly and black gives them a delicious, smoky flavor. The same is true for tomatoes.
For this quick sauce, I've roasted all of the vegetables under a broiler, which leaves you free to make the rest of the dinner while the vegetables cook. To skin the peppers, just pull away sections that remove easily; don't worry if some is left on. A light sauce like this needs thin, light angel hair pasta.
This meal contains 674 calories per serving with 31 percent of calories from fat.
Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Pasta
Vegetable oil spray
2 small red bell peppers, cut in half and seeded
1/2 pound ripe plum tomatoes (about 3 to 4 tomatoes)
2 medium cloves garlic, peeled and left whole
1/2 small onion, sliced (about 3/4 cup)
1/4 pound angel hair pasta
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat broiler and put water for pasta on to boil. Line a baking tray with foil and spray with vegetable spray. Place red bell peppers, rounded side up, on tray, along with tomatoes, garlic and onion slices; make sure they are in a single layer, with no overlap. Broil about 5 inches from the heat for 10 minutes. Turn and broil another 5 minutes.
While vegetables broil, add pasta to boiling water and cook 4 minutes for dried, 1 minute for fresh. Remove vegetables from broiler. The skin on the peppers and tomatoes will be blistered. Remove as much skin as easily comes away from the peppers. Reserve 2 to 3 slices of onion for the salad and puree the remaining vegetables in a blender or food processor. Or, chop by hand. Blend in vinegar and oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Toss with drained pasta. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top and serve. Makes 2 servings.
Per serving: 434 calories (31 percent from fat), 14.7 grams fat (2.7 grams saturated, 9.1 grams monounsaturated), 4 milligrams cholesterol, 12.9 grams protein, 62.9 grams carbohydrates, 7.7 grams fiber, 98 milligrams sodium.
Several slices onion from pasta recipe
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup whole grain croutons
1 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
4 cups washed ready-to-eat spinach leaves
2 tablespoons reduced-fat oil and vinegar dressing
Cut roasted onion slices into small pieces and add to a salad bowl. Tear spinach into bite-size pieces and add to the bowl along with the croutons and chickpeas. Add dressing and toss well. Makes 2 servings
Per serving: 240 calories (31 percent from fat),8.3 grams fat (1.1 grams saturated, 3.8 grams monounsaturated), 1 milligram cholesterol, 1.09 grams protein, 32.3 grams carbohydrates, 5.5 grams fiber, 314 milligrams sodium.
Linda Gassenheimer is the author of 14 cookbooks including her newest, "The Flavors of the Florida Keys" (Atlantic Monthly Press, 2010).