Friday, August 19, 2011

roasted red pepper pasta

Get ready for some roasted red pepper and pine nut pasta perfection, y'all!  That's some delicious alliteration.  I used The Pioneer Woman's recipe, which I really loved.  I've made roasted red pepper pasta sauce before with olive oil, but this sauce was much more flavorful and decadent with a bit of cream (yum), pine nuts, sauteed onions and garlic.  

Here's what you'll need:

3/4 lb penne pasta (I like penne best for this because the sauce really clings to it.)
2 red bell peppers (have to be red, folks)
2 cloves of garlic
1 small onion
extra virgin olive oil
3 T pine nuts
1/2 c heavy cream (decadent, I know!)
parmesan & basil (to garnish)

It makes about 4 servings.  If you're Texan, well, let's call it 3.

 Take a small onion...

...and peel and finely dice it.  You'll also want to finely mince 2 cloves of garlic.

Heat about 2T evoo in a deep pan on medium-low... 

Saute onion and garlic slowly with a little s&p for about 10 minutes, until soft.

Get your bell peppers rinsed and ready to be broiled in the oven.  You may want to give 'em a pep talk.  Broil (with - it may go without saying - your oven on "broil"), turning frequently, for about 10 minutes until charred on all sides.

They should look burned.  Burned = flavor (except later on in this'll see.)  Let them cool for a few minutes.

Put the roasted peppers in a large ziplock bag and seal it.  You're essentially giving them their own little sauna so you can peel them easily later.  This is a good time to cook your pasta in boiling, salted water until al dente (about 8 minutes).

Then, toast your pine nuts in a dry skillet on medium heat.  I urge you not to change your Facebook status whilst doing this, otherwise they'll look like mine did. In this case, burnt does not translate to flavor.  Burnt = burnt.

Let's try that again...they'll only take a few minutes to toast, so turn them often and just get a light brown on them (like this picture).

Peel those gorgeous red peppers, deseed them and roughly chop.

Puree in a food processor or blender with 2T of the toasted pine nuts (you'll use the rest of the pine nuts as a garnish).

It will get velvety but still have some texture to it.  Such a gorgeous color!  Add this puree to the onions and garlic, season with s&p and cook together for a few minutes.

Then add 1/2 c heavy cream...

 ...and some chopped basil and cook together for a few minutes.  Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and toss together.  Adjust s&p as needed.  Top with more basil, whole pine nuts and parmesan shavings.

The result: creamy, hearty roasted red pepper pasta that will make you want to do a little happy dance.  It's possible I did one.  Okay, highly probable. :)

Bon appetit!

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