Weeknight Pasta

I've had some requests for the recipe of the pasta dish we posted on Instagram this week - it's one of the easiest and fastest dishes you will ever make and it's perfect for a night when you're craving pasta but not craving the 5 hour cook time on a Bolognese sauce. 

It's especially easy because we always have a jar of roasted red peppers in our pantry. (My husband said to me Sunday, "wait, you don't roast those peppers on the grill?" Uh no, sorry to ruin your lovely image of me slaving all day so that you can have roasted red pepper pasta...) We use them all the time - on salumi platters, on sandwiches, in scrambled eggs...they're extremely versatile and just delicious.

Ideally, you want to use a jar of peppers that doesn't have a lot of added ingredients (like spices, seasonings, etc.) because we want to control the flavors of the sauce. But use what you have, don't go out and buy something special - that would defeat the whole purpose of this recipe. 

You can use any shape of pasta you have on hand - the only special tool you will need is a blender or a food processor for pureeing the sauce. And there you have it - our quick and easy Roasted Red Pepper Pasta.

Ingredients

1 pound pasta, any shape you’d like (I used mezzi rigatoni this past time because it's one of my favorites and I always have it on hand)

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1/2 a yellow onion, finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 jar (15 ounces) roasted red peppers, drained and roughly chopped

2 Tbsp. unsalted butter

1 cup chicken broth

1 tsp. salt, divided

1/4 tsp. pepper

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (plus more for serving)

1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped

      Tip: Start your pasta water now so that you can cook the pasta as soon as this sauce is ready!       We like to use about 4 quarts water per pound of pasta.

  1. Heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add your chopped onion and cook for about 4 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the chopped peppers and 1/2 tsp. salt and cook until hot, about 3 minutes.
  2. Turn off the heat and transfer the pepper/onion/garlic mixture into your blender or food processor. Puree (carefully if using a blender, that top will want to pop right off) until smooth.
  3. Add 1 Tbsp. salt to your boiling water and add the pasta. Cook to al dente. Tip: Before draining your pasta, always reserve a 1/2 cup of the hot pasta water in case your sauce needs some loosening up after it's cooked.
  4. Using the same saucepan as before, heat 2 Tbsp. butter over medium heat and pour the pureed sauce back into the pan. Add the broth, cream, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper and stir to combine. Let it cook for about 5 minutes or until your pasta is done - it gets thicker and creamier if allowed to reduce a bit (and you have that pasta water set aside in case it gets too thick).
  5. Add the chopped basil and 1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano and stir before adding the cooked and drained pasta to the saucepan. Toss to coat.
  6. Serve with extra grated cheese, of course!