Sometimes I come up with really good last minute dinners. It doesn’t always happen. Usually dinner takes some planning and some thought but last night happened to be one of those rare occasions where I came up with something really good on the fly.
I didn’t plan on cooking last night. I cooked a large roast the night before and planned on making quesadillas or tacos with the leftover meat but my husband and I both had the beef for lunch and didn’t feel like having the same thing for dinner. This is the problem when you cook a large roast and there’s only two of you. You wind up eating the same thing for days. I’m trying to be inventive and come up with some new recipes that incorporate the beef but I can only eat so much of it. So, literally right before I microwaved the shredded beef, I came up with this recipe for roasted red pepper sauce to eat over some whole grain penne pasta. The whole meal came together in 20 minutes and even though it didn’t include any meat, Matt ate three helpings. Although, he did comment that it could be improved by adding some sauteed chicken.
I used chicken broth in this recipe but you could easily make it vegetarian by substituting vegetable broth.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 tablespoon of minced garlic (3 cloves)
1/4 cup of white wine
1 cup of chicken broth or vegetable broth
4 oz. of cream cheese
13.25 oz. of whole grain penne
1 12 oz. jar of roasted red peppers
1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
salt & pepper
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
2. While the water is coming to a boil, start on the sauce. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add the onion and stir for 2 minutes and then add the garlic and stir for another minute.
3. Add the wine and chicken broth and let it come up to a simmer. Add the cream cheese and break it apart with a spoon. Stir until the cream cheese melts and incorporates into the sauce. Turn the heat to low and let the sauce simmer and reduce while you cook the pasta in the next step.
4. Add the pasta to the boiling salted water and cook according to package directions, until al dente.
5. Once the pasta is cooked, drain it and transfer it back to the pot it was cooked in.
6. Place the roasted red peppers (it’s okay to get some of the juice from the jar in), the sauce that has been simmering over low heat, the red pepper flakes and a little bit of salt and pepper into a food processor. Pulse the mixture until the sauce comes together. Everything should be pureed and smooth and it should look like this:
7. Pour the sauce over the pasta, add the parmesan cheese and stir to combine everything. Serve in bowls with extra parmesan cheese on the top.