I had every intention of revisiting my Ropa Vieja recipe, complete with pictures and tales of Cuban hole-in-the-wall joints that serve the best food in Florida. But then lunch happened. I am now in a meat-coma, and cannot even bring myself to write about a carnivorous meal. I feel a detox is in order!
I have a go-to favorite dinner that takes precisely almost no time, is healthy, and tastes like heaven. So why the heck haven’t I shared this with you before? Good question. I have no answer. I think it may be because it is, in fact, so easy to make that I thought it is not good enough for a blog post. But then, when I think about the recipes I look for, I always want something easy and customizable. And like all of my recipes, this one is highly customizable!
A couple of words about cheese before I give you the recipe. I am seriously becoming a cheese snob. Quality makes a HUGE difference in this arena. Sure, certain ingredients are perfectly fine to go with a generic, but with cheese, generics just don’t cut it (get it…cut the cheese…see what I did there?). My 2 favorite cheeses to cook with, of late, are both found at Russo’s. The first is an imported grated romano. The second is locally produced Purity Cheese Co. Ricotta. And I would like to point out that even though both of these cheeses are high quality cheeses, they are still extremely affordable (the ricotta is under $3 and the romano just over). That is why it is SO important to research your products and local shopping resources! I haven’t bought a mass market brand since I discovered these. OK, off my high horse and on to the recipe!
- Olive Oil
- 2 cloves garlic (chopped)
- 1/2 Vidalia onion (chopped)
- 1 small green pepper (chopped)
- 1 small red pepper (chopped)
- 1 can diced tomatoes (flavored is fine. In season I would use 1 large fresh diced tomato)
- Red pepper flakes, or hot pepper powder of some sort, to taste (optional)
- Fresh grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
- 1/2 packet of your favorite angel hair pasta (I use Barilla Plus…lots of protein!)
- Ricotta Cheese to top
- Start cooking your pasta
- Place about 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large saute pan.
- Add chopped garlic to oil and let it marinade as you prep the remainder of your ingredients
- Heat pan on medium-high
- When pan is hot, add the onions.
- Cook until they begin to become translucent, add the peppers
- Cook for approximately 5 minutes, stirring occasionally
- Add the tomatoes and let simmer for an additional 5 minutes
- Add the hot pepper (optional) and stir well
- The pasta should be ready by now. Using tongs, remove the pasta from the water and add it to your sauce, little by little, stirring after each addition
- Let simmer for about 3 minutes
- Add the desired amount of Parmesan or Romano cheese and stir well
- Serve pasta with a generous scoop of ricotta on top