Linguine with Sweet Pepper, Black Truffle, & Leek Cream

As you all can probably gather by now, pasta is one of my favorite things to cook.  I just love how versatile and comforting it is, and it really can be made with any ingredients you have on hand.  I’ve done a lot of tomato based sauce recipes for you guys, but I wanted to show you that you can still make a delicious red sauce, just minus the tomatoes!  This is also great for those who have sensitivity to tomato based sauces.  We use a blend of homemade roasted sweet peppers, fresh leeks, black truffle oil, garlic, fresh oregano, and almond milk to create this luxurious sauce; and since it has such few ingredients, it really allows each aspect to shine through the sauce!  Let’s get started with the recipe.

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So the four main components of the sauce we’re going to focus on first, would be our roasted peppers, leeks, garlic, and fresh oregano.

I used sweet peppers in this case (the yellow, orange, and red mini looking bell peppers you usually buy in a bag in the produce section) and roasted them over our gas stove top, to create a nice char.  You can create this same affect under the broiler (with no oil or salt).  I chose to leave the char / skin on my peppers, because I think it adds a nice depth of flavor; but if you don’t care for that as much, once they’re roasted, place them in a large metal or glass bowl, and while still hot cover tightly with plastic wrap.  Allow to sit for 10-15 minutes, then take the peppers out and slide the skins right off.  De stem / de seed your peppers, then chop into bite sized pieces.  You can use the jarred roasted red bell peppers if you prefer, but I definitely think using the mini sweet peppers and taking the time to hand roast them really makes all the difference.  We used mainly red peppers, with a few orange thrown in there just for reference as well.

For the leeks, you only need the white / light green parts.  The darker green end of the leek is a bit too fibrous for this recipe, so go ahead and save those guys for a different use!  Make sure to clean your leeks really well, because since they have so many open layers they can sometime collect dirt.  Slice into the same sized pieces as your peppers, and set aside for further use.

For your garlic & herbs its pretty simple.  Now you can definitely swap this out for other things as well; such as using black garlic, or maybe some fresh basil or rosemary instead of oregano.  You can really get creative, or cater to your personal preferences in this step.  Simply chop up your garlic & fresh oregano, and set aside for further use.  I feel like its very important to use a fresh herb in this step, as it adds a nice level of freshness and brightness to the sauce.

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Once you’ve prepped all of your base ingredients, place them in a sautee pan over medium heat with a few tablespoons of good quality olive oil, and a pinch of pink himalayan salt & freshly cracked black pepper.  Stir frequently until cooked down & you’ve collected a little juice in the bottom of the pan, and then transfer the whole mixture to your blender.  During this step, you can chose a few different options.  You can incorporate your black truffles, using either fresh truffles or truffle oil.  Also, if you don’t like truffles, or are allergic to mushrooms, you can completely omit this ingredient; the sauce will still be just as delicious I promise!   I chose to use some fresh black truffle, because my local market was having a good sale on them today.  I roughly chopped the truffle and added it into the blender with the rest of my ingredients.  If you choose to use truffle oil, its best to lightly drizzle the oil overtop the pasta before serving, instead of blending it into the sauce.  Truffle oil is meant to finish a dish, not be cooked or it becomes too overpowering; so if you’re choosing that route, just drizzle a small amount on top once you’ve plated your pasta before serving.  After you’ve completed that stage, add in your almond milk, with a bit more pink himalayan salt & black pepper. Blend until completely smooth and creamy, adding more milk if necessary.  You want the sauce to be thick enough to still coat the pasta though.

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While your sauce is cooking, make sure to also cook your pasta.  Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil; and add in your gluten free linguine.  Cook according to the package directions, but you want it to still have a little bite since we’re going to also cook it in a pan.  Once your pasta is ready, drain it BUT DO NOT RINSE and then transfer to a sautee pan with a generous spoonful of your sauce (enough to coat the pasta), & a tablespoon or two of vegan butter; and cook over medium-high heat for about 2-3 minutes.  Once your pasta is completely coated with the sauce, transfer to your bowl, *top with truffle oil if you’re using truffle oil*, and add some fresh oregano leaves, thick black pepper, and vegan parmesan, & you’re ready to eat!  This is such a simple, yet elegant dish thats super quick to pull off.  Enjoy!

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INGREDIENTS

  • 6-8 sweet mini bell peppers (or 3 regular bell peppers)
  • 1 large leek (just the white and light green parts)
  • 3 large garlic cloves
  • 1 1/2 tbs fresh oregano
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tbs pink himalayan salt
  • 2 tbs black pepper
  • 1 cup regular unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 black truffle (or 2 tsp black truffle oil) *optional
  • 1 lb. gluten free linguine
  • 2 tbs vegan butter
  • vegan parmesan cheese *optional

DIRECTIONS

  1. Roast your peppers over a gas stovetop flame, or under the broiler with no added oil or salt.  If you chose to leave the skin on, de-seed and de-stem them; if not, place in a large bowl and cover tight with plastic wrap while they are still hot.  After about 15-20 minutes, you can peel  the skins off very easily.  Roughly chop your peppers, leeks, garlic, and oregano and set aside.
  2. Bring a pot of heavily salted water to a boil & cook your pasta according to the package directions while you make your sauce.
  3. Heat up your olive oil in a pan & add your peppers, leeks, garlic, oregano, pink himalayan salt, and black pepper.
  4. Cook for about 10 minutes, until everything has wilted, and released some juices into the bottom of the pan.  Then transfer everything (juices included) into your high powered blender, and add in your fresh chopped truffle at this point.  IF you are using truffle oil instead of a fresh truffle, DO NOT add it at this step.  Truffle oil is meant to finish a dish with, not to be cooked or it becomes too overpowering.  Also add your almond milk, and a little more salt / pepper if needed & blend on high until completely smooth.
  5. Drain your pasta, and combine it with some of your sauce, as well as the vegan butter into a sautee pan, and cook over a medium high heat for 2-3 minutes until the sauce sticks to the pasta.
  6. Plate in a pasta bowl, and top with fresh oregano leaves, black pepper, and vegan parmesan if desired.  If you’re using truffle oil, at this point you would drizzle a small amount overtop of your pasta.

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