The Other Red Sauce

When I think about pasta, I almost synonymously think about a robust tomato sauce. Whether it’s homemade or jarred, marinara sauce atop pasta is my favorite way to enjoy this Italian staple. Every now and again, routines needs to be broken, so I switched up my pasta routine with this Roasted Red Pepper Cream Sauce from Cooking Light. While the sauce is red in color, the roasted peppers offer a smokey sweetness not found in the typical tomato sauces. The creamy thickness of the sauce adheres to each noodle in the perfect way, ensuring each bite is loaded with flavor. I served the pasta alongside chicken, but it would be delicious with broccoli, mushrooms or spinach tossed in.
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Bow Tie Pasta with Roasted Red Pepper Cream Sauce

What You Need

  • 1 pound uncooked farfalle (bow tie pasta)
  • 2 teaspoons extravirgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 (12-ounce) bottle roasted red bell peppers, drained and coarsely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
  • Thinly sliced fresh basil (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

What To Do

  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, and cook 8 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Add bell peppers; cook 2 minutes or until heated through. Increase heat to medium-high. Stir in vinegar; cook 1 minute or until liquid evaporates. Remove from heat; cool 5 minutes.
  3. Place bell pepper mixture in a blender; process until smooth. Return bell pepper mixture to pan; cook over low heat until warm. Combine half-and-half and tomato paste in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Stir tomato mixture into bell pepper mixture, stirring with a whisk until well combined. Stir in ground red pepper.
  4. Combine pasta and bell pepper mixture in a large bowl. Add 1/2 cup cheese, tossing to coat. Spoon 1 1/3 cups pasta into each of 6 bowls; top each with about 1 1/2 tablespoons cheese. Garnish with basil, if desired.
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