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Plant Based 411
August 2020

Roasted Hatch Pepper & Onion Pasta
By Nancy Eisman

The fantastic aroma of roasted Hatch peppers is in the air as the annual season gets underway. Grown only in the Mesilla Valley of New Mexico, these highly prized peppers are available for just a few short weeks each year in August and September. Harvested from fertile soil along the Rio Grande, Hatch peppers thrive in the river valley’s combination of nutrient-rich soil, intense sunlight and cool desert nights.

These very special peppers develop thick walls and meaty, flavorful flesh unlike other peppers that are thin-skinned and don’t hold up to the preferred roasting method of cooking. Not only are Hatch peppers superior in flavor, nutritionally-speaking, one medium-sized pepper has as much vitamin C as six oranges!

You can purchase already roasted Hatch peppers in supermarkets everywhere, or easily roast them at home in the oven, over a gas burner, or on the grill. Having a lusciously rich texture and variable heat levels, Hatch peppers are in high demand for all your favorite recipes.

Hatch peppers and a pasta dish I recently enjoyed are the inspiration for this month’s recipe. Penne pasta is tossed with roasted Hatch peppers, sautéed Hatch onions (another gift from New Mexico), sun dried tomatoes, and toasted pepitas in a white wine and crushed tomato sauce, resulting in a tasty tribute to the exciting Hatch pepper season.

Roasted Hatch Pepper & Onion Pasta

1 16 oz. package penne pasta
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 ½ cups Hatch onions, sliced
2 cups Hatch peppers, roasted 3 garlic cloves, diced
1 package (3 oz.) sun-dried tomatoes, rehydrated in hot water for 15 minutes, drained
1/3 cup pepitas, toasted
1 (14.5 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
2/3 cup white wine
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and fresh black pepper, to taste

In a large sauté pan, cook the onion in 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Cook over medium-high heat until the onion turns golden, about 7 minutes.

De-stem and de-seed the roasted Hatch peppers and cut into strips, about the size of the penne pasta. Add the peppers and garlic to the onions and stir for a minute.

Add in the sun-dried tomatoes and stir to combine.

Add in the crushed tomatoes, ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil and the white wine. Bring the mixture to a slow boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and continue cooking about 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

While the sauce is simmering, cook the penne pasta according to package instructions. Drain.

Add the penne pasta and the toasted pepitas to the sauce and toss to combine.

Click on this link for the entire line of Hatch essentials.