After talking about Portillo’s yesterday, I was kind of in a Chicago state of mind. Seeing as giardiniera is like the #1 condiment in the city, I figured we’d continue the Chicago trend this week with some pasta giardiniera. Although I’ve never really thought outside my traditional sandwich (usually Italian beef) and giardiniera combo, this pasta made a perfect pair with the zesty vegetables.
The Hubs became hooked on giardiniera after we got together a decade ago, and we always stock up on a couple of jars from the local Italian deli when we go to visit my parents. If you’ve never tried it, no fear! It’s super simple to make and jar at home, or you can always buy it on Amazon.
Zesty Pasta Giardiniera
Zesty Pasta Giardiniera Recipe
- 1 large red bell pepper
- 10 cup water
- 10 baby carrots with tops trimmed (do not peel)
- 1 small red onion thinly sliced
- 3 ounces sugar snap peas trimmed
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil divided
- 1 fennel bulb trimmed and vertically sliced
- 3/4 teaspoon salt divided
- 2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
- 6 ounces fresh lasagna noodles cut into 1 1/4 x 5-inch ribbons
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 3 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese cubed
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
Preheat broiler to high.
Cut bell pepper in half lengthwise; discard seeds and membranes. Place pepper halves, skin sides up, on a foil-lined baking sheet; flatten with hand. Broil 8 minutes or until blackened. Place in a paper bag; fold to close tightly. Let stand 10 minutes. Peel and cut into strips.
While bell pepper broils, bring 10 cups water to a boil in a Dutch oven. Add carrots and onions; cook 2 minutes. Add peas; cook 2 minutes. Drain; rinse with cold water. Drain. Remove carrot skins by rubbing gently with a clean, dry paper towel.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, and swirl to coat. Add onion, and fennel; sauté for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt; reduce heat to medium, and sauté for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add bell pepper, carrots, and vinegar; cook 2 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates.
Cook pasta in boiling water 2 minutes; drain. Combine pasta, remaining 2 tablespoons oil, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, fennel mixture, and crushed red pepper in a large bowl; toss to combine. Add mozzarella; sprinkle with thyme.
**recipe adapted from Cooking Light
In other hometown news, today is Jen’s due date! Yes, we all live in San Diego now, but Jen’s a Chicago girl too, and her almost-baby’s name is Carson, which is a very famous ribs joint in Chicago. I don’t think that’s why she chose the name (honey, you were named after Daddy’s favorite food) but it reminds me of Chicago so I’m going with it. I really hope that little guy shows his face today not only so I can win the betting pool, but also so Jen can get some relief……and so I can hold a cute, tiny baby. Stop by her blog and send her some love!