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Spicy Roasted Red Pepper Pasta (or Dip)

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Serves 4 | Prep Time 20 min | Cook Time 10-12 min

Why I Love This Recipe

FEATURING: Red peppers, garlic and jalapeno pepper (optional).

An easy and delicious creamy 5-ingredient sauce you can drizzle on just about anything! Use the sauce as a dip, as pizza sauce, spread it on sandwiches, drizzle it over tacos and veggie bowls, or pour it over pasta! You can easily double or triple it. You can also freeze it (you may need to quickly re-blend after defrosting prior to using to smooth out the sauce again). See another one of my variations on this dip here:

Ingredients You'll Need

2 large red peppers (or 3 smaller peppers)
1 fresh green jalapeños (optional- see note below)
4 cloves garlic
1/4 cup raw cashews , pre-soaked for ~30 min or more (see note below- you can also use walnuts instead- no need to soak them)
1/4 salt or more, to taste
2 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice , freshly squeezed
1/4 teasp apple cider vinegar, or more lemon juice
1/4 cup water
freshly ground black pepper

500g of dry pasta of your choice
A drizzle of oil of your choice
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 broccoli head, chopped into florets
A dash of salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste.

- JALAPENOS: Add more or less jalapenos depending on your level of spice. This sauce will still taste great even if you omit the jalapenos completely. Alternatively you can simply take some of the sauce out before blending in the jalapenos if you want both versions of the sauce.

- CASHEWS: If you are using a powerful blender, you do not need to pre-soak the cashews. Just be sure to completely puree into a smooth sauce.


PASTA (if serving on pasta): Make the pasta according to package instruction. While the pasta cooks, heat oil in a medium frying pan. When hot, add the minced garlic and sauté on medium-high heat until lightly golden. Add the broccoli and sauté on medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the broccoli is cooked but still vibrant in colour. Add a dash of salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside.

PEPPER DIP: Preheat the oven to 500 degrees and put on broil (heat from top)- make sure the top grill is on the top second level of your oven). Line a baking sheet with aluminium foil and set aside.
Cut the bell peppers and jalapenos in half lengthwise. Discard the seeds and membranes
Place pepper and jalapeno halves, skin side up, on a foil-lined baking sheet.
Tuck the whole peeled garlic cloves under one of the red bell peppers to keep them from burning.
Broil for 10-12 minutes or until the red bell peppers are charred and blackened.
Remove from oven and instantly place only the red bell peppers in a bowl and cover with a kitchen towel to seal. Let it sit for 10 minutes. Once cool, remove and peel the outer skin off.
Add the roasted red bell peppers, garlic cloves, jalapenos to a blender along with the remaining ingredients and puree until completely smooth. The exact amount of lemon juice depends on it's acidity, so season to taste with additional salt and/or lemon juice if needed.

ASSEMBLY: Put some pasta on a plate, top with roasted red pepper dip and cooked broccoli.

***** NOTE*****
You can store the sauce in an air-tight container in the fridge for a few days. You can also freeze it (you may need to quickly re-blend after defrosting prior to using to smooth out the sauce again).

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