Another perfect Northwest day. No need for the furnace. No need for the air conditioner. It was actually 52 degrees when I woke this morning and the afternoon temperatures were in the high 70’s. You can’t ask for better sleeping – or living – weather.

The swelling from his bee stings has disappeared, but I am afraid Reese still has the memory of the yellow jacket attack. Reese is willing to venture out of doors again, but refuses to go anywhere near the scene of yesterday’s disaster. It is unbelievable how long that dog can “hold it”. True, he is a mutt/rescue dog of unknown heritage, but I am beginning to think there is some camel in his DNA somewhere.  

Anyway… ignoring that unappetizing segue… on to today’s delicious dinner.

It has been a long time since I have enjoyed a simple pasta dish as much as this linguine courtesy of the August 2010 issue of Bon Appetit Magazine. Simple everyday ingredients that add up to the perfect blend of sweet and savory. I made it in one pot (sautéed the veggies in the pasta cooking pot while the linguine drained in the sink), plus a colander.

Linguini with Red Bell Pepper and Kalamata Olives
August 2010 Bon Appetit

PREP:20 minutes TOTAL:20 minutes
4 servings

8 ounces linguine (I used dried)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 large red bell peppers, stemmed, seeded, cut into 1/3-inch cubes
16 Kalamata olives, pitted, quartered
3 large garlic cloves, pressed
1/4 teaspoon (generous) dried crushed red pepper
1 1/4 cups chopped fresh basil, divided
1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, plus additional for passing
1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar

Preparation:
Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid. Meanwhile, heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add bell peppers, olives, garlic, and crushed red pepper. Sauté until bell peppers are tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Add pasta, 1/2 cup reserved pasta cooking liquid, 1 cup basil, 1 cup cheese, and vinegar. Toss until sauce coats pasta, adding more reserved cooking liquid by 1/4 cupfuls if dry, about 1 minute. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup basil and serve, passing additional cheese.

Terry’s notes: I don’t know. Did I run too far this afternoon? Didn’t eat all day so was just hungry? Or did this pasta dish really taste like heaven? Loved it!!! The strange thing is though the recipe only calls for a half pound of linguine, it claims to serve four. It should have a disclaimer to read “four skinny people, or two runners” – we didn’t have enough left over for a four year old. And, I think you could easily get by with using one large red bell pepper. The white balsamic added a wonderful surprise flavor – do not omit.

I’ll be adding this recipe to the rotation.

Until my next update, I remain, your carbo-loading correspondent.

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