Roasted Red Pepper Pasta (update)

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UPDATE: 3/31/13 ---> I made this again recently for my boyfriend (I always test things in my own kitchen first to make sure it's up to par when I make it for him) I made a couple changes by adding sun dried tomatoes and this time I actually used real cream (not much.) It also goes quicker if you cut the peppers in half to roast them my updated pictures are at the bottom of this blog. You can see the sauce is a little lighter than the last time.

Since I have had so much time to myself at home I have been trying to cook new things to blog about. Once again since I cannot drive I took a look in the fridge and saw 2 and a half red peppers and instantly became inspired. After some serious googling I came across a recipe for Red Pepper Pasta and when I read the recipe I decided I could wing it and make a healthier version for myself. To make this meatless just leave out the meat :)

This is what I used:
-Red Peppers
-Mini Penne Noodles (any noodle is OK here)
-Fresh Basil (I had some leftover from my tomato salad yesterday)
-Fresh Parsley (I have a Parsley window plant)
-Milk, Cream, or Half n Half
-Parmesan cheese (or any Italian cheese you like)
-Cream cheese (I used cream cheese since all I had was milk to make it more creamy)
- Pine Nuts (Always keep these in the cupboard they last forever)
- Diced Garlic (I like fresh)
- Diced White or yellow onion
-Whole Chicken (Buy a ready made roasted chicken and shred it up while boiling pasta or roasting peppers) or roast your own chicken what do I care!!) (chicken is optional)
-Tight fitted bowl or zip lock bags
-Cookie sheet

Basically besides the Red Peppers and Basil these are things that I always keep on hand anyways so this is my new favorite go-to recipe for dinner. Although when you roast the peppers yourself keep in mind it tags on an extra hour or so. You could easily skip the most difficult part of this recipe by using the jarred roasted red peppers which are surprisingly cheap in the store but if you have the time fresh is always better!

This was my first time roasting my own peppers, I don't have a gas stove and it was too cold to light up the grill so I but my oven on broil. Cut my peppers in half with seeds and stems still on there and laid them on a foil lined, pam sprayed cookie sheet. The foil is a MUST if you don't like scrubbing and ruining your nail polish. Also I cooked my pasta while roasting the peppers to make things go a little quicker since you'll have to keep an eye on the peppers anyways. The pasta will be done before you need it so I drizzle a little olive oil and toss pasta in the strainer cover with foil and leave it sit until I am ready to use it.

About 15-25 until the skins on the peppers are getting black obviously the more black you let your skins get the more roasty flavor you'll have. Once again this being my first time I let mine get only a little black. It is important to put the peppers in a sealed zip lock bag or a tightly lidded bowl right out of the oven.  Doing this will make it easier to remove the skins from the peppers. Let them sit until they are cool enough to handle with your hands (about 20 minutes.) I rinsed mine off with water to make them cool because I've had a bad experience with hot things in the blender and I was starving!!

While I was skinning and seeding the peppers I let a handful of pine nuts toast in the same pan I cooked my pasta in and tossed them into the blender along with the skinned peppers, a few basil, and parsley leaves. Go ahead and blend that all together in your blender it should be a little chunky but you want a good blend on it.

Dice the onion and garlic and cool in a little olive oil for a few minutes. Once the onion starts cooking down it's time to add everything from the blender and let that cook for a few minutes stirring continually. Turn down the heat add enough milk or cream to your liking and melt some cream cheese in the sauce. When all of this is combined to your liking add the pasta and pulled chicken cook until the noodles are well coated in sauce. (The longer you cook them the more time they will have to absorb the sauce) If your sauce gets too thick or dry just add a little more milk or cream.

Finally spoon into bowls top with basil, parsley and cheese and there you have it!! Roasted Red Pepper Pasta!! So Delish!!

(I was thinking about adding some white wine or vodka to this dish but forgot. If you wanted to try this you would want to add it while you were cooking the onions and garlic!)

I am obsessed with  my little mini cheese grater!! I use it more than you would think! 

Cannot wait to make this again!! So yummy!!

Bottom Line is that this dish was AMAZE!! I cannot wait to make it for my boyfriend soon!! It was creamy and delicious!! I really didn't use much oil, cream or milk so I felt really good about myself afterward. Also thinking about trying this with some Italian Sausage and will update this post if I do!!


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