Categories
Pasta Uncategorized Vegetarian

Pasta with Creamy Rainbow Pepper Sauce

This magical pasta sauce may change the way you think about those cute little snacking peppers. You might associate mini rainbow peppers with healthy snacking, but have you ever thought of them as indulgent? Me either, until I made this sauce. 

A few months ago I went a little overboard shopping for produce at Costco and ended up with piles and piles of veggies in the fridge I needed to use up quickly. It was cold outside and I wasn’t feeling the vibe of snacking on cold peppers while it was blustery and snowy, so I started thinking creatively about how I could use those little guys to make something warm and satisfying. The lightbulb went off in my brain. Roasted pepper pasta sauce made with those perfectly sweet little peppers! 

This isn’t your average roasted red pepper sauce, and I can’t imagine making it with anything other than mini peppers. Sometimes overshopping at Costco really  pays off. 

Ingredients:

20-25 mini rainbow bell peppers

1 Tbsp. butter

1 medium onion, diced

5 cloves of garlic, minced

1 c. whole milk

½ c. cream cheese

¼ c. Parmesan cheese

1 16 oz box of pasta

Salt and pepper to taste

PInch of red pepper flakes, if desired

Fresh basil, as garnish

Parmesan cheese, for garnish

Roasted mini peppers:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cut the peppers in half and remove the stems and seeds and place them in a bowl. Drizzle olive oil (about 1 Tbsp. or so) over the peppers and add salt and pepper. Mix together with your hands so that all of the peppers are coated with oil. Place cut side down on a baking sheet covered in foil. Roast the peppers for about 15-20 minutes or until the skins are dark and wrinkly. Let the peppers cool and then peel the skins off. They are ready to use!

Pasta and Sauce:

Cook the pasta according to package directions. While the pasta is cooking, heat the butter in a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook until translucent (5 minutes). Then add the garlic and cook until fragrant, but not burned (about 1-2 minutes). Pour in the milk and stir, being sure to mix the onions and garlic well. Add the roasted red peppers, Parmesan and cream cheese. Stir until well mixed. 

Pour the sauce into a food processor and process until the mixture has a creamy, saucy consistency. Add salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to taste. 

Drain the pasta and put it back into the skillet, pour the sauce in, and mix together so that the flavors meld together. Add to a large serving bowl and serve with Parmesan cheese and fresh basil. 

Feel free to add protein, such as chicken or shrimp, to this pasta. It tastes great as a vegetarian dish, but is versatile. Enjoy immediately.

Categories
Pasta Pork Uncategorized

Spaghetti Carbonara

Is there anything more comforting than a big bowl of warm, yummy pasta? I think not. I don’t know about you, but when the leaves start falling off the trees I start craving comforting food that warms me from the inside out. Spaghetti carbonara is literally made up of all of the best things: eggs, bacon, cheese, pasta! What is not to love about this wonderful dish?

While some people prefer carbonara without peas, I think they add a little sweetness and cut the heavy taste, creating a more balanced flavor and visual palette. Carbonara can be made with all types of pasta, but I like to make it with traditional spaghetti.

Ingredients:

16 oz. high-quality spaghetti

5 eggs

1 cup fresh shredded Parmesan

6 slices of thick-cut bacon or pancetta, diced

4 cloves of garlic

1/2 c. frozen peas, thawed

Italian parsley leaves, chopped (for garnish)

Salt/pepper

Makes 4 servings.

Cook pasta according to package directions in boiling salted water. 

Separate eggs and yolks from 4 eggs. Set aside the yolks for later. Whisk the egg whites and extra egg together in a bowl. Add Parmesan cheese and whisk until combined.

Heat large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add diced bacon and cook until crispy. Set bacon on a plate, leaving the excess grease in the pan. Add garlic and thawed peas to the pan and cook for one minute. 

Drain pasta and put the pasta into the skillet. Quickly pour in the egg/Parmesan mixture and add bacon. Stir until combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Top each bowl with an egg yolk and chopped parsley. 

Enjoy immediately!