Perhaps it’s because it is now September or that pumpkin spice everything is now being advertised everywhere, but I was really craving a hearty Fall pasta dish yesterday evening. Yet not just another boring pasta marinara dish, I wanted a fabulous tasting dish with a gourmet style sauce. But, I definitely didn’t want to spend hours in the kitchen. Luckily, I remembered a delicious and easy to make roasted pepper and tomato sauce that I made a few times last year. And, I had almost all of the ingredients already in my kitchen. (I just made one minor deviation or swap from my normal recipe, which I describe below.) I am so glad that I remembered this sauce!
Finding the Best Gluten Free Pasta
Once I decided on the sauce, I had to figure out which gluten free pasta to pare with this amazing sauce. These days, there are so many gluten free pastas in supermarkets and grocery stores that finding the best ones for your recipes may be a bit overwhelming. Even just a decade ago, only a few gluten free pastas existed.
Now, you can find a whole assortment of gluten free pastas made from ingredients like brown rice, corn, beans, quinoa, lentils, chickpeas, konjac, zucchini, almond flour and so many more options. Gluten free pastas can be found in the same aisle as traditional wheat pastas, in dedicated gluten free sections of stores or even in the frozen foods/freezer section (like one of my all time faves, Cappello’s).
With so many gluten free pasta options now available, it is so important to pick the best, most nutrient dense pasta. The most critical step is to read the ingredient labels. The best gluten-free pastas will only have a handful of natural ingredients, no added sugar and no seed oils or other suspect ingredients.
Although I had a couple of gluten-free pasta options in my pantry, I recently picked up a new (or new to me at least) zucchini-based pasta from Veggiecraft Farms that I have been wanting to try. I thought that this spaghetti style veggie pasta would go best with my hearty roasted pepper and tomato sauce recipe.
The Veggiecraft Farms pasta passed the test when it came to the ingredients and nutrients. Veggiecraft Farm’s Zucchini Spaghetti is made from only three simple ingredients: lentil flour, pea flour and zucchini flour. (I must admit that it is a little odd that the pasta is touted as a zucchini pasta when zucchini is the third and final ingredient, but I can forgive the brand because the other ingredients are equally as nutritious.) Like the label says, the pasta is “Made from 100% Good Stuff.”
Beyond the ingredients, I was impressed by the nutrients in the Veggiecraft Farms Zucchini Spaghetti. In addition to being gluten free, dairy free and vegan, the pasta is high in protein (22 grams compared to 13 grams in traditional pasta) and is fiber rich (8 grams of fiber compared to 3 grams of fiber in traditional pasta). The non-GMO verified pasta is also significantly lower in net carbs (56 grams vs. 71 grams) than traditional pastas.
The pasta is also easy to make and is ready to eat in 7-8 minutes. Plus, it tastes amazing and so much like traditional pasta. It was the perfect pasta for the roasted pepper & tomato sauce.
On to the Sauce!
Enough about the pasta. While that is an important component of the dish, it is time to dive in to the piece de resistance: the amazing roasted pepper and tomato sauce. This sauce is super easy to make, and actually tastes like it could have been made in a fine dining, gourmet restaurant. It is the perfect sauce when you want to level up your sauce game or when you are not in the mood for traditional marinara or tomato sauces.
What You’ll Need
Here is what you’ll need:
- Non-stick cooking sheets
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Knife and cutting board or dish
Here are the simple ingredients to make 2 servings (double the recipe for 4 servings):
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2-4 tablespoons for the cooking sheet and to drizzle over the vegetables
- 1/4 cup for the sauce/blender
- 8-10 mini peppers, with tops removed
- 1/2 container of cherry tomatoes
- 1/2 of a medium shallot, loosely chopped
- 1/4 of a red onion, loosely chopped
- 2 teaspoons of garlic powder or 2 garlic cloves chopped (I normally use fresh garlic but didn’t have any yesterday so I used garlic powder. It was equally as delicious
- 4 tablespoons water
Here are the easy steps to making this tasty sauce:
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Prepare a cooking sheet with a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil.
- Wash the cherry tomatoes (half a container) and place them on the oiled cooking sheet.
- Wash the 8-10 mini peppers, cut off the tops, remove any remaining seeds and place them on the cooking sheet.
- Cut, slice and loosely chop half of a medium shallot. It does not need to be finely chopped. Add them to the cooking sheet.
- Cut, slice and loosely chop 1/4 of a red onion. Add them to the cooking sheet.
- If you are using fresh garlic, peel two cloves, chop and add the chopped garlic to the cooking sheet. (If you are using garlic powder, see blending step below.)
- Drizzle 2-3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil over the vegetables.
- Roast for 45 minutes to an hour in the oven. (Oven times will vary. I recommend checking on the vegetables after a half hour and then every five minutes until they are ready. The tomatoes and peppers will start to wrinkle a bit when they are ready.)
- Remove the roasted vegetables/cooking sheets from the oven when ready.
- In your blender, add 1/4 cup of olive oil to the blender.
- Carefully add the roasted vegetables (and garlic if applicable) to the blender using a large spoon.
- Add the garlic powder (if applicable).
- Add the tablespoons of water.
- Blend for until the ingredients are liquefied but still slightly chunky. (I use a Vitamix blender, which I highly recommend, so this takes me about 10-15 seconds of blending.)
- Pour over the pasta and enjoy!
Pour any leftover sauce into a mason jar, refrigerate and use within the next two days.
This sauce is truly a classic and never disappoints!