I grew up with sauce in the jar. This sauce was exclusively used on spaghetti noodles. I literally grew up thinking that spaghetti was the only pasta people ate. It’s like other shapes didn’t exist and sauce only came out of a glass jar. One could not make their own sauce, one could not deviate from thin, long pasta.
Then, I left home and discovered about 500 different pasta shapes and bought and used them all. I loved them- radiatore, fusilli, rigatoni, and the really unusual shapes like the flute shaped campanelle. I asked my mom why we always had spaghetti noodles and she simply said, “I like spaghetti.”
Once I got myself a food processor, the door then opened to sauce making. This sauce is modified from the lovely Pioneer Woman, with a bit of variation with goat cheese. It’s extremely simple and all it takes is a bit of sauteeing, a bit of pureeing, and just a touch of melting. It’s full of bright flavors; the sweet peppers get a fresh kick from fresh basil, and a touch of tang from creamy goat cheese.
Side note: I made this for my brother and I on a whim when he came to visit. I used an old nonstick pan that decided to absorb the dishwasher liquid. Our whole meal tasted like soap and I almost cried. So obviously I had to make it again.
Roasted Red Pepper, Goat Cheese, and Basil Pasta
Adapted from pioneerwoman.com
Yeilds: about 4 cups (serves 4-5…but could go further. I love saucy pasta.)
- Pasta of your choice (it’s okay if it is spaghetti!)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 whole large onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 jar (15.5 Ounces) roasted red peppers-drained and chopped roughly
- 1 cup vegetable or chicken broth
- Salt and pepper to taste (we don’t cook with much salt around my house)
- Splash of heavy cream (or more, indulge yourself!)
- 2 or 3 ounces of goat cheese
- Chopped fresh basil (as much as you want!)
Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions.
Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic and saute for 2 to 3 minutes or until starting to soften. Add the chopped red peppers and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until hot.
Remove the skillet from the heat. Carefully transfer the contents of the skillet to a food processor or blender. Place on the lid and puree the pepper mixture until totally blended (there will still be some texture to the peppers.)
Heat the other tablespoon butter back to the skillet over medium heat. Pour the pepper puree back into the skillet. Add the broth, salt, and pepper, and stir until heated. Splash in the cream and stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings if you need to. I continued to cook mine longer until it began to cook down and thicken.
Add the goat cheese (crumbling for easier melting) and the basil, stirring until cheese incorporates into sauce.
You can toss pasta with sauce or spoon on top, whatever you choose.