Roasted shishito pepper pasta (gluten-free)
Up here in Boone, I've been going to the farmer's market once or twice a week -- the vendors have so many wonderful products! Seasonal fruits and vegetables abound, in addition to eggs, honey, and my most recent favorite, fresh pasta. After trying some delicious lumache pasta, I went back and found Gabriel from Foggy Mountain Pasta at the Watauga Farmer's Market this past Saturday. We decided to partner up for a recipe & blog post - I'm always down to get the word out about local-made food. My challenge was preparing this gluten-free buckwheat pasta. You really wouldn't know it's gluten-free! It is anything but a sub-par substitute; rather it is a texture-filled and tasty alternative.
*As I've mentioned in previous posts, I enjoy exploring gluten-free recipes to be able to accommodate future clients (or current followers!) with Celiac disease. Eating gluten-free is not for everyone, and unless you have a medically diagnosed condition, you don't need to eliminate it from your diet. On the other hand, it shouldn't be a huge burden for those who have to eat this way.*
Per Gabriel's suggestion, I also picked up some shishito peppers and cherry tomatoes from the farmer that had set up his stand right next to Foggy Mountain pasta.
Shishito peppers are small and delicate. They taste like a green bell pepper, with just a little bit of kick (I'd say half as spicy as a jalapeño pepper).
In addition to my farmer's market finds, I used about half a small box of white button mushrooms, 3 cloves of garlic, and half a lemon.
I started by setting my oven to 400 F and spreading the shishito peppers on a sheet pan with just a little drizzle of olive oil.
Because they are so delicate, they don't take much time to roast at all! 7 minutes on one side, and then a quick flip for 3 more minutes on the other. They came out perfectly charred and blistered.
While the peppers were roasting and then cooling, I began prepping the other ingredients. The tomatoes went directly in a big saucepan with about 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil over medium heat.
The goal with the tomatoes is to get them to pop and release all their juices -- this + olive oil will be the base of your sauce! I covered the tomatoes with a lid and let them get cooking, holding the lid down and tipping the pan every so often to move the tomatoes around on the heat without releasing moisture (or getting splattered by hot oil).
Meanwhile, I sliced up the mushrooms fairly thinly and minced the garlic.
The mushrooms went directly in to cook down with the tomatoes, probably about 5 minutes after the tomatoes began cooking. I let all that simmer down with a quick stir every so often until the tomatoes were all popped. In an ideal world, you'd just let everything keep cooking till the tomatoes completely "spilled their guts" (ew?), but I got hungry and impatient, so I smashed the tomatoes with the back of my spatula. I then added the garlic to get that flavor cooking, and turned the heat down to low.
At this point, the peppers were cool enough to handle. I cut off the tops and sliced them lengthwise. The sharper the knife, the better for this -- a dull knife will tear apart these little cuties.
These went right into the sauce pot, along with the juice of half a lemon and a dash of salt. Be careful not to get any seeds in the pot! (I say this because I made this mistake. Had to go searching...oops)
I also started to boil the water for the pasta. The directions were right on the back of the box, and called for a large pot of boiling salted water. Once it was boiling, I gently placed the pasta in the boiling water. Because there isn't any gluten in this fresh pasta, it is a little delicate. Handle with care -- you don't really need to stir the pot much if the water is boiling rapidly.
I checked the pasta first at 3 minutes, and it needed about 2 more minutes to be al dente. Because it's fresh pasta, it needs MUCH less time to cook than your average boxed pasta! I usually vouch for patience with cooking, but in this case, check it like a mad-person or it might come out a bit mushy, especially because it's gluten-free.
Once the pasta was cooked, I transferred it into the sauce dish by scooping it out with a spaghetti spoon. With boxed pasta, you might strain your noodles through a colander, but this way you can keep the fresh pasta moist, and capture a bit of that briny pasta water flavor with a small scoop of the water to finish it off. I tossed this all in the sauce pot and let it cook just a few minutes more.
Behold the melding of flavors!
This was perfect with a little sprinkle of romano cheese on top. It could also be paired with some roasted or grilled chicken for protein.
The perfect light and spicy pasta dish!
Roasted shishito pepper pasta (gluten-free)
The perfect light and spicy gluten-free pasta dish for a summer night..
Makes: 2-3 servings
- 1 teaspoon + 3 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pint shishito peppers
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- 1/2 pint white button mushrooms, sliced thinly
- 3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 8 oz fresh buckwheat pasta from Foggy Mountain Pasta
- Grated Parmesan, Asiago or Romano cheese
- Preheat oven to 400 F. Spread shishito peppers on a baking sheet and drizzle with 1 tsp olive oil. Roast for 7 minutes, then flip each pepper and roast for 3 more minutes until charred and blistered. Let cool on the pan.
- Heat 3 Tablespoons olive oil with tomatoes in a large saucepan over medium heat. Keep covered and tip pan every so often to move around the tomatoes. Keep cooking for about 5 minutes.
- Add sliced mushrooms to the saucepan. Stir and continue cooking until the tomatoes are all popped. Press down on tomatoes to release their juices. Add garlic and reduce heat to low.
- Slice the tops off each pepper, and then slice them lengthwise. Add to the sauce with the juice of 1/2 lemon.
- Follow the directions on the back of the pasta box, being vigilant and testing pasta until it reaches al dente. Scoop out of the pot with a spaghetti spoon and add to sauce with a spoonful of pasta water. Continue to cook for 2 more minutes. Enjoy with a sprinkle of cheese and the protein of your choice.