I have made it no secret in the past that I do not like tomatoes. And that’s a hard thing to deal with in life. All the time I read a recipe for a pasta or a stew and think, “Oh, this sounds good!” and then I get to the last ingredient on the list and it is always tomatoes.
So pasta sauces have been a bit hard for me. The plus side of this is that I’ve discovered some really great pasta dishes like pasta with sausage and tuscan beans and pasta with garlic and olive oil and mushroom marsala pasta. The down side of this is that every single one of these pasta dishes is beige colored. Not that there’s a problem with that. But I’ve been generally teased throughout my life about my preference of beige plates.
This pasta solves that problem though, because it is bright bright orange-red. And it’s so simple: pureed roasted red peppers (from a jar) with a bit of shallot and garlic and a splash (okay, 1/2 a cup) of cream. It is delicious and tangy and sweet, without having too overpowering of a flavor. It is absolutely my new favorite pasta sauce.
And now no one can accuse me of only liking beige pastas.
This is my new favorite pasta dish; and aside from breaking out the blender, it's really not that complicated to make. I made a couple of changes from the original recipe, mostly that I thought it needed much less chicken stock so that the sauce is a bit thicker and sticks to your pasta better. It's important to have a pasta with ridges here so that the sauce sticks and so that you can have the maximum sauce to noodle ratio possible.
- 1 lb. pasta (penne, rigatoni, or another short pasta with ridges)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 shallot, peeled and diced
- Kosher salt
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 1 (15.5 oz.) jar roasted red peppers, drained and roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup whipping cream
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan (plus more for serving)
- Parsley and/or Basil, for garnish (optional)
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions, until al dente. (If the pasta is done before your sauce, you can drain it and add a bit of olive oil to it to keep it from sticking together while it sits.)
- In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the olive and butter together. When the butter is melted, add the shallot and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for 1-2 minutes, until tender. Then add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the roasted red peppers and cook, stirring often, until they are hot, about 3-4 minutes.
- Pour the pepper mixture into a blender or food processor, and blend until the mixture is smooth (go with your preference here--you can make it as smooth or chunky as you like).
- Return the pepper mixture to the skillet and cook over medium heat. Add the broth along with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook until heated. Then add the cream, stir it in, and continue to cook until warm.
- Lower the heat and then add the pasta to the skillet. Top the pasta with the Parmesan cheese and then stir it all together to combine. (Or, if it won't all fit in your skillet, stir it all together in a big pot.) Garnish with fresh parsley and/or basil, if desired. Serve warm.
adapted from Ree Drummond