Roasting peppers in my apartment is NOT an option, especially since my windows don’t open more than 5
inches for safety reasons.
I learned my lesson the day I decided to roast red peppers on my electric stove to make this fabulous pasta dish. 10 minutes later my kitchen filled up with smoke, but I figured the smoke would escape via the living room window, uhmm, not quite. Instead, I was startled to the sound of fire alarms going off in my apartment.
I immediately turned off the stove and rapidly started waving a towel in front of the smoke detector. A few minutes later, silence emerged, and I was relieved.
Moral? Who needs freshly roasted red peppers when jarred roasted peppers will suffice? And that’s exactly what I used for this recipe inspired by Ellie Krieger’s Fettuccine with Creamy Red Pepper Feta Sauce.
I made quite a few tweaks by using penne instead of fettuccine, parmesan instead of feta, basil instead of
parsley, and sautéed mushrooms for some extra veggies. Can I call it my own? Maybeeeee.
Both my husband and I devoured this dish. Strangely enough he hates mushrooms, but yet ate every single slice of mushroom. Mission accomplished! Give this recipe a try, promise you won’t be disappointed!
NUTRITION: Roasted Red Peppers are an excellent source of Vitamin C. Mushrooms are a very good source of Vitamin B6 and Protein. Whole Grain pasta is a great source of Protein and Fiber. Basil is an excellent source of Vitamin K and a very good source of Iron, Calcium, and Vitamin A. Although high in fat, cheese is a good source of Calcium and Protein.
- Pot of water
- Barilla Whole Grain Penne – 1 (1 pound) box
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil – 1 tbsp (sauce) + 1 tbsp (mushrooms)
- Crushed Red Pepper Flakes – 1 tsp (use less if you can’t handle heat)
- Onion – 1 large (chopped)
- Garlic – 4 cloves (chopped)
- Trader Joe’s Fire Roasted Red Peppers – 3 (12 ounce) jars (drained & roughly chopped)
- Baby Crimini Mushrooms – 1 (10 ounce) box (sliced)
- Basil – 1 (2.5 ounce) box (handful for the sauce + handful chopped at the end)
- Parmesan Cheese – 1/2 cup (grated) + more for garnish
- Starchy Pasta Water – 1/2 cup (for sauce) + 1/2 cup (reserved for later)
- Black Pepper – 1/2 tsp
- salt to taste
3. Heat a pot on medium heat, once hot add 1 tbsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil followed by crushed red pepper flakes.
4. Once the pepper flakes sizzle, add the onion and garlic. Season with salt. Stir. Saute for 5 minutes or until translucent.
5. In the meantime, drain the jarred red peppers and roughly chop.
6. Check on the onions – this is what you should have – just lightly golden.
7. Add the red peppers and cook for a few minutes or until the peppers release liquid. NO NEED TO SEASON THE PEPPERS SINCE THEY ARE ALREADY PRETTY SALTY.
8. In the meantime, grate some parmesan cheese. Grab a handful of basil. Set aside.
9. Check on the onion-pepper mixture. This is what you should have. Notice the liquid?
10. Pour this mixture into a food processor. Wait for it to cool.
11. In the meantime, slice the mushrooms.
12. Heat the same pot used for the onion-pepper, once hot add a tbsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, add the mushrooms. DO NOT SEASON WITH SALT. Saute for about 10 minutes or until the liquid is released.
13. At this time check on your pasta water, follow the instructions on the back of the box and cook the pasta until al dente.
14. Back to the sauce – to the onion-pepper mixture, add basil, parmesan cheese, and black pepper.
15. Puree until everything is combined. This is what you should have.
16. Add 1/2 cup of starchy pasta water.
17. Check on the mushrooms – once they start releasing water, season with a little salt.
18. Cook for another 5 minutes until you have this.
19. Check on the pasta – reserve 1/2 a cup of pasta water and drain.
20. Add the sauce and mushrooms to the pasta along with 1/4 to 1/3 cup of the reserved pasta water. This will help thin out the sauce and bind the pasta to the sauce.
21. Toss well. Add more chopped basil and turn off the stove.
22. Plate starting with the pasta.
23. Followed by basil and parmesan. Serve with a glass of red. Heaven!
TELL ME: Do you live in a small space? How do you roast/barbecue when living in small spaces?