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Kitchen Mailbox Countdown to Dinner Dining
Farm Fresh: Roasted peppers star in dazzling fettuccine dish

Thursday, June 15, 2000

Tested by Betsy Kline

Reader Jenny Estes of Ambridge submitted this recipe for Countdown to Dinner, and although it comes together in a swift succession of steps, it exceeds our ingredient limit. We liked it so much we decided to adapt it to use fresh red bell peppers instead of jarred.

Roasting your own peppers takes maybe 15 extra minutes to sear them under a broiler, sweat in a bag and peel, but it's worth it because of the fresh sweetness of the pepper. It also sidesteps the extra oil, cutting down on the total fat of the dish.

This fettuccine main dish is a knockout. We rate it up there with restaurant offerings. And it makes a beautiful presentation. Enjoy!

Roasted Pepper Fettuccine

Jarred roasted peppers (about 7 ounces, marinated in oil, not vinegar) make this a snap, but we substituted freshly roasted peppers without the oil. Frozen peas may be substituted for the zucchini.

2 sweet red peppers
8 ounces fettuccine
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, sliced
3 slices bacon
1 medium zucchini, chopped
1/3 cup chicken broth (or water)
1 teaspoon flour
1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Roast the peppers: Set oven to broil. Halve, core and seed the peppers. Place the peppers on a foil-lined cookie sheet and put directly under broiler. Roast until the skins are totally blackened. Remove from oven and immediately place peppers in clean paper bag. After 10 minutes, pull the skins off. Slice the peppers and set aside.

While the peppers are roasting, set the pasta water to boil. Cook pasta until al dente. Drain and rinse with hot water.

In a large skillet, fry bacon until just crisp. Remove bacon to drain on paper towels and pour off the fat. Do not wipe pan.

Add the olive oil to the skillet with the sliced onion, minced garlic and chopped zucchini. Saute until the vegetables are tender.

Chop or crumble bacon into small pieces. Stir flour into the broth. Add peppers, bacon and broth to the skillet, stirring to combine well.

When bubbly throughout, add the Romano cheese, salt and pepper to taste. Toss with the hot fettuccine and serve immediately. Makes 3 to 4 generous servings.



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