A couple times a month Stan has meetings that keep him out past dinnertime. I don’t mind the time by myself, but I eating dinner alone has never been my favorite thing. This week, however, I was looking forward to my solo dinner with some anticipation. Not because I’ve suddenly developed a love of solo dining, but because I had something special planned. Something decadent and just a little bit girly. Of course I’m talking about food. Pasta with roasted red pepper sauce. I came across this recipe a few weeks ago, and I’ve been holding onto it for just such night.
Now Stan is pretty open to just about anything I cook, but he is still a meat and potatoes guy, not-too-deep-down inside. He goes along with my meatless meals a couple of times a week, but if I go for more than that, he starts to get a little cranky. What can I say? The boy likes his meat. Add that to the fact that he started lifting weights recently and is actually trying to gain weight (sometimes I hate him just a little), I knew he wouldn’t be thrilled with the idea of a light pasta dinner.
Which is really too bad, because this pasta is delish. And simple too, which is always nice – especially when you’re only cooking for one. Roasted red peppers puréed with toasted pine nuts, shallots, and garlic. A little cream stirred in to make it luscious. Top it off with some parley and Parmesan, and you are good to go – whether it’s alone or with the ones you love.
Pasta with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
Adapted from The Pioneer Woman
12 oz. pasta (pick something that will hold the sauce like shells, penne, farfalle, etc.)
3 roasted red peppers, rinsed and drained if from a jar
2 T. pine nuts
2 T. olive oil
1 large shallot, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup heavy cream
Freshly ground black pepper
Grated Parmesan cheese
Flat leaf parsley, chopped
Prepare pasta according to package directions.
In a medium skillet, toast pine nuts over moderate heat. When they are golden brown, remove to a bowl to cool.
In the same skillet, heat olive oil. Add shallots and garlic. Cook until softened.
In a blender, combine peppers, pine nuts, shallots, and garlic. Puree until smooth. Return sauce to skillet and stir in cream. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Combine pasta with sauce and garnish with cheese and parsley.
Serves 4 to 6.
Note: While this pasta is awesome as is, it would also be great with some grilled chicken strips or shrimp on top. I’m also going to try stirring some defrosted frozen peas into my leftovers to cut a little of the richness and make it just a smidge healthier.