Roasted Le'Veon Bell Pepper Pesto

Steelers v. Raiders is a storied rivalry. Though it may not burn as intensely as it once did, it carries the legacy of the Immaculate Reception with it. 

A few days ago, someone recommended that I watch the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary about the Oakland/LA/Oakland again Raiders, "Straight Outta L.A.," so, that's how I started my Sunday. Directed and narrated by Ice Cube, it puts things into perspective as to why the Raiders organization has that tough, well, badass swagger that many other teams... don't. Don't get me wrong, I'm not trading in my HEEEAAATTHH jersey or my tossle hat for a Raiders Starter jacket, but the movie is worth a watch. Also, the end credits roll to this:

I'm very grateful that the Steelers never recorded a goofy '80s "rap" song. Don't quit your day job, Howie Long.

Game Bites
Pittsburgh @ Oakland

That was one ugly game. It was an exceptionally long game too, thanks to a bajillion reviewed plays, coaches' challenges and penalties. Today's matchup between the Steelers and the Oakland Raiders had everything - three defensive takeaways, two missed chip shot field goals, a big comeback in the second half, and a successful two-point conversion with under two minutes left in the game. 

First Quarter: First offensive play of the game, QB Terrelle Pryor runs 93 yards for a TD, breaking Kordell Stewart's record (longest TD run by a QB). Double ouch. 7-0, OAK

Raiders' special teams block Zoltan Mesko's punt, recover ball on PIT 26. (Bad day for Pittsburgh kickers is just starting.) Darren McFadden gets the second TD of the game. 14-0, OAK

A Polamalu interception closes out the first quarter!

Second Quarter: Last week's hero, Shaun Suisham, comes through with a 47 yard field goal. 14-3, OAK

The officials are stumped by a punt return that may or may not have been fumbled... or recovered... or illegally touched... We are forced to sit through Aflac commercials while they try to figure it out. They decide that PIT touched the ball illegally. Coach Tomlin challenges, more commercials ensue. Ultimately, ruling stands (total B.S. call).

Just after the two minute warning, McFadden gets another TD. Good for my fantasy team, bad for my favorite team. 21-3, OAK. 

Cortez Allen makes an interception that looks vaguely similar to the Immaculate Reception, bouncing off of Rashad Jennings. 

SUISHAM, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! First missed field goal attempt of the season...

Score at the Half: 21-3, OAK

Third Quarter: Steelers get the ball after the half and take their time driving down the field. Bell makes a first down at the OAK 15 yard line. The offense can't get it in the end zone, so everyone's favorite guy, Shaun Suisham comes out to do what he does best and kick a... NOT AGAIN!!! Another shanked kick. Unreal. (Does anyone else think Mesko is the jealous saboteur?)

Also, both Guy Whimper and David DeCastro were hurt on the drive. 

Mesko makes a successful coffin corner kick, pinning the Raiders back on their own half yard line. 

Fourth Quarter: Mike Jenkins intercepts, Raiders' ball - then, not long after, Timmons and Keisel successfully force a fumble and come up with the takeaway. PIT first down on the OAK 11 yard line. 

Heath nearly gets a TD, but it's called back. Ben passes to Sanders for the TD (and Suisham made the PAT, thank god). 21-10, OAK

Keisel and Polamalu both make some sweet sacks.

Steelers are driving into Raider territory approaching the two minute warning. Ben gets sacked for the upteenth time. 

A holding call on the Raiders (after a would-be interception) give the Steelers first and goal on the two yard line with 1:27 left in the game. Le'Veon Bell gets the TD! and... Emmanuel Sanders gets the two-point conversion!!! There's still hope... 21-18, OAK  

And then the game pretty much ended. (Steelers, out of timeouts, are unable to stop the clock and unable to get their butts in gear fast enough to make one more snap.)

Final Score: 21-18, OAK

Terrible. Well, I'm glad that Le'Veon Bell got a touchdown for the Black & Gold today. After his amazing 93 yard game last week, I thought I should put together another recipe for him. 

Over the summer, we made Stuffed Le'Veon Bell Peppers using yellow bell peppers, of course. One of my favorite pepper recipes is the Roasted Red Bell Pepper Pesto from A Cozy Kitchen. I figured why not substitute golden yellow bell peppers and whip some up.  It was perfect to make while watching the game, because the peppers roast for an hour with minimal attention (and when things got ugly, I could remove myself and check on them). 

Roasted Le'Veon Bell Pepper Pesto
Recipe from A Cozy Kitchen

2 yellow bell peppers
3-4 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp walnuts
1/2 cup grated parmesan, plus more for garnish
1/2 cup fresh basil
a pinch crushed red pepper flakes
salt to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place whole peppers on baking sheet and drizzle with 1-2 tbsp olive oil. Roast in oven for 30 minutes, then turn peppers over and roast for another 30 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. Once cool, remove stem and seeds and discard. 

Pulse garlic and walnuts in food processor for about 30 seconds. Add roasted peppers, parmesan, 2 tbsp olive oil, basil and crushed red pepper flakes. Pulse on low for about a minute, until it reaches your desired consistency. 

Serve over pasta and garnish with more parmesan.

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