Recipe source: Pioneer Woman
Besides being pasta (an obvious winning quality) and pasta with a cream sauce no less (no-brainer), I was also drawn to this recipe because it meant trying something new: roasting peppers.
I don’t have a grill, so the first time I made this, I roasted the peppers in a small toaster oven. That took about a year. So this time I tried using my cast-iron grill pan, preheated to smoking before I put the peppers on it. It still was a long process… about half an hour long. While I love Pioneer Woman, this is not the first time I’ve found her cooking times WAY off. The next time I do this I will either broil them in my full oven or put the peppers directly on the burner.
That being said, you may have noticed that I never include prep time in the recipes I post. I find them completely useless, because everyone has a different skill level. And on a lot of recipes, they are still flat-out wrong. I think it’s better to just read through a recipe, know thyself, and get a feel for it beforehand. Okay, /diatribe.
With the addition of some red pepper flakes for kick, this is a pretty yummy recipe. The first step is to char three red bell peppers.
Once blackened, remove peppers from the flame and place them into a large Ziploc bag to sweat.
Meanwhile, set a large pot of water to boil for pasta. I used farfalle (aka bowtie), Pioneer Woman used orecchiette. Penne would also be good. Toast pine nuts in a skillet, stirring often to prevent burning. Remove from heat when nuts become golden brown and fragrant.
Then peel the charred skin from peppers and remove seeds. You will note my paper towel… these keep their heat for a while, and despite one cooking teacher’s advice to toughen up my hands to burning (*cough* no names), I am a wimp.
In a food processor or blender, puree peppers and pine nuts.
In a medium skillet, heat oil and sautee diced onion and garlic. Puree with peppers and pine nuts, then pour sauce into skillet and add salt and red pepper flakes.
Heat sauce over medium-high flame and add cream. Reduce sauce slightly and keep warm until pasta is fully cooked.
Toss with pasta, top with chopped parsley and Parmesan, and serve.
RECIPE – Roasted Red Pepper Pasta
3 whole red bell peppers
2 tablespoons pine nuts
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 medium onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup heavy cream
Flat leaf parsley, minced
Fresh Parmesan, shaved or grated
1/2 to 1 pound pasta: Orecchiette, Penne, Fusilli, Etc.
Roast red peppers, and then place in a Ziploc bag to allow to sweat. Peel the charred skins from the peppers, then remove seeds. Set aside.
Lightly toast pine nuts in a skillet. Set aside.
Puree peppers with pine nuts. Set aside.
Cook pasta according to package directions.
In a skillet or pot over medium heat, drizzle in olive oil. Add diced onions and garlic and cook until soft. Pour in pepper puree and stir together. Add salt and red pepper flakes. Pour in cream and stir to combine. Taste and add more salt, if necessary. Add cooked pasta, and then stir together.
Place pasta into a bowl, top with chopped parsley and plenty of shaved Parmesan.