Pasta with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Friday, November 13, 2009

Here's a recipe that I've had starred for a really.long.time.

OK, nevermind. I just checked, and I've actually only had it starred since June. But it seems like it's been longer.

No matter.

When I saw it, I thought, Hmmm... I love pasta, I like red peppers. This recipe? Intriguing. And certainly worth a try.

While doing the menu planning for this week, I was feeling adventurous. I dug through the starred items in my Google Reader, and decided that roasting red peppers would make a perfect Friday night activity.

When all is said and done, I'm not going to lie. This wasn't one of my favorites. The frustrating part is that I can't really put my finger on the reason. The thing is, I've never actually roasted red peppers before. I've had peppers every which way except for roasted. So is the roasting to blame? Not sure. Also, I've never toasted pine nuts. I've always eaten them "raw" in salads, or tossed into my basil pesto. I've never bothered to roast them before. Plus, we definitely over-toasted them a bit. So is the toasting to blame? Or the over-toasting, maybe? Not sure.

But it sure looks pretty, doesn't it?

And to be fair, I had no problems eating it. It was tasty; it just wasn't as good as I wanted it to be. My husband, on the other hand, really loved it, so you should give it a shot and decide for yourself. I can be picky, so certainly don't take my word for it.

One final thing: We doubled the recipe, because we almost never make only a partial box of pasta. Plus, you know us... we love having leftovers. But the recipe below does not reflect the doubling, so if you want to do what we did, you'll have to double the ingredients listed.

Pasta with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
(Source: The Way the Cookie Crumbles, adapted from Pioneer Woman)

Ingredients:
- 2 red bell peppers
- 6 ounces dry pasta
- salt
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1/2 medium onion, finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon minced flat leaf parsley
- fresh Parmesan, shaved, grated or shredded

Directions:
1. Adjust an oven rack to the top position and heat the broiler. Line a baking sheet with foil. Cut a 1/2-inch ring off the tops and bottoms of the peppers. Remove the seeds and stems, then cut the remaining cylinders of pepper in half lengthwise, into two wide strips. Lay the strips of pepper and the rings skin-side up on the foil-lined pan, pushing the strips down. Broil until thoroughly blackened, 6-8 minutes. Put the broiled peppers in a bowl; cover the bowl and set aside for at least 10 minutes.

2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, add 1 tablespoon salt and the pasta. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions, until al dente. Drain and return to the cooking pot.

3. Meanwhile, heat a medium skillet, preferably not nonstick, over medium heat. Add the pine nuts and toast, shaking the pan occasionally, until golden brown and fragrant, 3-6 minutes. Remove the pine nuts from the pan and set aside.

4. Peel the skins off of the peppers. Add the peppers and pine nuts to a blender or food processor and purée.

5. Add the olive oil to the now-empty skillet over medium heat. Once heated, add the onion. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until softened and just browned around the edges, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute, then stir in the red pepper/pine nut puree and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Pour in the cream, and stir until the sauce is evenly heated. Check for seasoning, adding additional salt if necessary.

6. Add the sauce to the cooked pasta, and stir over medium-high heat until everything is heated and the pasta absorbs some of the sauce. Serve, topping each portion with parsley and Parmesan.

1 comments:

Rachie4 November 15, 2009 at 11:24 PM  

I have made this recipe on many occasions, and DH and I love it! That being said, I love roasted red peppers so that may have something to do with it. Also, I use the original recipe from the Pioneer Woman's blog and I noticed that it has more peppers, cream and olive oil which adds flavor. It is also great re-heated! :)

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