Monday, October 15, 2012

Joey's Hearty Bowties with Tomatoes and Peppers

 Ok, so, when I started this dish, I had originally intended to go in a different direction. I was planning on doctoring up some leftovers (as I often do), but then this just sort of happened. Actually, for a while, it kind of seemed like I was making a pot of soup, but then everything came together and I LOVE the way it all turned out. It's a nice change from the usual marinara sauce and it feeds a crowd. Serve it up with some nice crusty bread and/or a fresh crisp iceberg wedge salad and you're good to go!

a few glugs of olive oil
1 large onion
2 large green bell peppers
2 or 3 large cloves of garlic
big pinch of sugar
salt and pepper to taste
a few shakes EACH dried basil and dried thyme leaves
1 28 oz can sliced stewed tomatoes
6 cups chicken broth
1 lb bow tie pasta
1/2 cup bread crumbs
Parmesan Cheese

Place oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Roughly chop the onions, peppers, and garlic. Saute in oil until they begin to soften. Add sugar, salt and pepper, basil and thyme. Saute for a few minutes more. Add the tomatoes. Simmer for 5-10 minutes. Add the chicken broth and the dry uncooked pasta right out of the box into the pot. Bring to a boil, give it a good stir, then reduce heat and simmer until the pasta is cooked and most of the liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Add the bread crumbs and give it a good stir. Serve in large pasta bowls topped with Parmesan cheese.

The key to this dish is the dried basil and thyme. They really give a nice depth of flavor. Don't forget them! The other key is the addition of bread crumbs. It might seem a little weird to add them, but they give the sauce a little body (so it's more than just a broth) without making it too heavy.
If you'd like a little heat, go ahead and add a few shakes of crushed red pepper flakes along with the dried herbs. Add as much as you like!

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