Tortellini with Roasted Pepper and Tomato Sauce

Last week my husband and I had an absolute blast in Asia! We went to help my father in law out at a fresh fruit and produce expo in Hong Kong, (to try and get some of his produce out in the Asian market a little more), and it was amazing to meet growers from all over the world! All the big names in the farming industry were there: Dole, Pink Lady, Washington Apples, Pistachios Pistachios, paramount citrus, etc. It’s kind of given me a different perspective when I buy food at the grocery store now, because when I see the labels I think, “I know who grew that!” Pretty darn cool.

On the side we did a LOT of sight seeing. I’m kind of adventurous, and kind of ADD, which is a bad combination for my poor husband because i’m pretty sure I wore him out! If he could have it his way, he would relax in the executive lounge sipping diet pepsi, but I wanted to get out and do and see as much as we could in what little time we had! The first day there we did the Art museum, the avenue of stars, victoria harbor cruise, madam taussad’s, a tram ride to the peak and lunch at the serenade restaurant! All this with MAD jet-lag and running round the most HUMID, sticky hot place on earth! It even wore me out actually!

Another day we took a glass cable car up the mountain to the Big Buddha at Po Lin Monestary, which was probably my favorite thing we did!

Part of seeing another place and experiencing some of their culture for me, is trying some traditional foods–so my husband and I googled some of Hong Kong’s most popular dishes and this is what we read: 1000 year old eggs, Birds Nest Soup, with actual birds saliva! Shark Fin Soup, Chicken feet, Chicken testicles, Turtle Jelly, Snake Soup  and Sea Slugs (just to name a few). I thought these were just weird “delicacies” we wouldn’t really come across. But no. They were everywhere. Out at the serenade restaurant our first day there, we ordered dim sum (the safest thing we could find)…

but on the same cart was a bird… cut into pieces, beak still on… brown. DISTURBING!

I didn’t want to experience their culture that badly. Although I did try a lot of different dim sum and congee (and wasn’t a fan of any of it), my husband was bold and ate some shark fin soup at the airport on our way home! :-/

They should probably illegalize that…not only because they harvest a whole shark just for their fin, but because it doesn’t even taste good!

So, needless to say I won’t be recreating any of my “favorite” foods from Hong Kong!

It was a really fun and crazy week, but it was definitely nice to get home! Although ever since i’ve been home I feel as if i’ve just been playing catch up! Trying to give my babies my full undivided attention after leaving them for a whole week, whist unpacking and doing laundry and tidying my home, and filling up my fridge, trying to get my darn oven and TV fixed, editing photos for the family photoshoot and wedding, trying to arrange my husband’s birthday (which is today!) You get the picture! It’s more crazy here than it was in Hong Kong!

So, just to help me get back in the swing of things, this week I have decided to cook the most SIMPLE, delicious meals I could find… (that definitely don’t involve strange chicken parts or birds spit!) This recipe comes from a chefs Blog called brave tart. I love it because you just shove the vegetables in the oven, and forget they’re there for an hour… until your house starts to smell divine, and your husband thinks you’ve been working on dinner all afternoon! Then after the vegetables come out, all you have to do is blend them up, add a couple of ingredients and you have something really gourmet, fresh, healthy and divine! Oh i’m so happy to be home… cooking and eating normal food again!

6-10 Roma tomatoes
1 yellow onion
1 bell pepper
olive oil
salt and pepper
arugula/basil (optional)

Tortellini/Pasta to serve

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Slice the tomatoes in half and place them on a sheet pan, cut side up. Peel the onion and slice it into 1” pieces, scatter over the tomatoes. Core and seed the bell pepper, slice and toss it onto the sheet pan. Scatter the garlic on top of the vegetables (or place whole cloves on the sheet pan)… however much you like. Drizzle the whole thing with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.PS this is how much mess preparing this dish takes! Just another reason why I love this recipe!
Toss the vegetables in the oven for about an hour, or until the onions have started to take on some color and the juices start to caramelize. You can leave it in the oven for up to 3 hours (whatever works!)

Transfer the vegetables and pan juices to a blender or food processor and blitz until smooth and creamy.

Transfer to a saucepan, add the arugula and season with additional salt and pepper and herbs, if you like. This sauce is incredibly lean on its own, so you may need another hearty drizzle of olive oil to bring out the full flavor of the dish.

Serve with tortellini and parmesan cheese. You can to with fresh basil or pine nuts, or both
You can add cream to make this an alla vodka style creamy tomato sauce, or milk to make it into a delicious soup (or make two meals out of it!)! I love how versatile this recipe is! It’s also SO so simple and extremely delicious too… so it’s hard to beat for crazy weeknights!

So I hope you all enjoy this recipe!
<3 Sarah