Recipe: A Pasta Thing

So, I was going to call this something descriptive like "Red Pepper Pasta" or the like, but I referred to it on Facebook as "a pasta thing" and my cousin requested that I name it that officially.  So I did.  Just for you, Lauren!

I made this on Saturday.  I really wanted pasta but I didn't want a heavy tomato sauce or anything.  So I experimented a little and came up with this!  It probably owes something to someone else (maybe the Pioneer Woman?) as I know I've made a somewhat similar sauce from a recipe before.  But this one's my own twist on it.  It ends up being light but flavourful.  I think it would be perfect served with crusty French bread and a salad!  (Neither of which I had on hand.  But theoretically...)

The recipe looks a little complicated, as you end up having several things going at once, but if you read through it before you start I think you'll find it's not too bad.  Mainly you end up doing chopping or blending while other things are cooking.

A Pasta Thing

1 lb pasta (shells, bowties, or something else small-ish)
1 red bell pepper
1 onion
3-4 cloves garlic
2 T olive oil
2 T butter
salt and pepper to taste
chopped basil (to taste - I used about 5 large leaves)
splash of Tabasco
1/2 cup heavy cream

Start salted water heating for pasta.  While it heats, slice red pepper in half.  Chop one half into thin slices; put the other on a tray and broil in the oven for about 15 minutes, until the skin begins to blacken.  Pull out and place in a plastic bag to steam out and cool.

While the pepper is broiling, heat butter and oil together in skillet, then chop onion and garlic.  Cook in fats until beginning to soften.  Remove half of mixture and set aside in a bowl with the sliced red peppers.  Cook remaining onions until soft.  Place in blender with the roasted pepper (de-skinned) and blend until smooth.  Add Tabasco and heavy cream and mix.  Add in some of the pasta water to thin out the sauce a little (I think I used between 1/2 and 1 cup.)  Feel free to add more cream if you feel it needs it, also.

Put the rest of the onions, and the sliced red pepper, into the skillet (with a little more oil or butter if necessary) and cook until onions are translucent and peppers are soft.  Season with salt and pepper.  (This all happens while you're dealing with the puréed sauce, mostly.)

Pour sauce over cooked pasta.  (I rinsed out the blender with some extra pasta water to get all the red pepper goodness out!)  Mix thoroughly, then add the sautéed veggies and the chopped basil.  Toss.  Garnish with some more basil if you like, and serve with grated parmesan cheese.

Mmmm.  This was good!