AHHHH, Pasta!

Growing up in a large Italian family, pasta was the center of many meals.  Of course the meals started with a meat dish, but one of the things I am learning is that with a little bit of ingenuity you can make a complete meal out of pasta.  Adding a few small touches to your pasta will make all the difference.  As you will quickly find out, my two lovely daughters could live on nothing but pasta so you will see many different variations on this theme.

My first attempt is a recipe I found in Real Simple magazine (August 2008).  Pasta with Peppers and Mozzarella  (See full recipe at link)

Ingredients include pasta, olive oil, red bell peppers, garlic, arugula and fresh mozzarella

This is a pretty basic pasta recipe.  My children both love red peppers and mozzarella so I assumed this would be a big hit.  Unfortunately, things did not go as planned.  My oldest, who is 10, asks after her first bite if there are any nuts in this dish (she thinks she is allergic to nuts).  I assured her that there are no nuts.  After a few minutes she tells me her mouth feels itchy.  I have her stop eating the dish and get something else to eat.  My only thought is that she must be having an allergic reaction to the arugula.  Knowing how my husband has many allergies to weeds, that is my only guess.  Well, I gave her some Benedryl and everything worked out for her.  I don’t feel this dish fared very well, especially with our little arugula problem.  Adding the cheese to the hot pasta and pot made it get really melted and it clumped together with the arugula.  I found that I had to make a huge effort to get pieces of pepper, mozzarella and arugula with the pasta.  If I didn’t have all the different pieces with the pasta it did not have much flavor.  I think in general this is a good combo of flavors but it didn’t quite come together as I had hoped it would.  On a side note, my daughter, made some delicious garlic bagel toast!