Sunday, July 21, 2013

Roasted Red Pepper and Goat Cheese Alfredo Pasta


This dish is ridiculously versatile. With only a short list of ingredients, and minimal cooking time, you can add chicken to make this a meal, add a variety of vegetables for the non-meat-eaters, or eat as is! The richness of the goat cheese, and the deep flavor of the freshly roasted red peppers give this simple pasta dish extreme flavor! Top with some fresh basil, and before you know it you will be craving seconds. I made this for dinner last week during out first summer rain storm and it was amazing to eat dinner snuggled up on the couch watching the sunset after the rain had stopped.

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Roasted Red Pepper and Goat Cheese Pasta

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 lb. whole wheat linguine pasta
  • 2 whole red bell peppers
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup fat-free half & half
  • 4 oz. garlic and herb goat cheese
  • 2/3 cup freshly grated pamigiano reggiano cheese
  • 2 tbsp. freshly chopped parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 fresh basil leaves, cut into ribbons
Preheat your oven or counter top toaster oven to broil. (I used my toaster oven so I wouldn't have to heat up my whole kitchen....A/C is not cheap during the AZ summers) Place 2 bell peppers on a piece of foil and roast in oven until all sides are charred, roating occasionally. When they finish cooking, place in a large ziplock bag and allow them to sweat for 10-15 minutes. Once they are done sweating, pull them out, and peel away the cooked skin, and discard the stem and seeds. You're finished product will look similar to this:


Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet on the stove over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook for 2 minutes, until softened. Add garlic, salt, and pepper to taste. Cook another minute. Add half & half and lower heat to medium, bringing the sauce to a simmer. 



Now add the goat cheese, stirring, allowing the goat cheese to slowly melt into the sauce. Then add in the roasted peppers and grated parmesan cheese.



Now, using a hand blender (or regular blender if you do not have a hand-held), blend the entire mixture until smooth. Feel free to transfer to a deeper container if you are unsure of the splash factor of your blender!



Cook pasta according to the box directions. Once cooked through, add pasta to the sauce and mix to coat the noodles. Serve evenly among two bowls.


Lastly, top with chicken and basil ribbons. Serve hot.

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