Friday, July 17, 2009

Pioneer Woman's Pasta with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce: Jen B's Variation

The boy and I had a big day today, and I'm really not feeling very verbose, so I'll just get right to it. My friend Jen B. made this pasta dish when we went to San Diego back in May, and it was so yummy. I've been excited to make it and finally slated it for this week. Jen made some variations on the original recipe from the Pioneer Woman Cooking website, and I'm following her changes to make it a little more healthy.

PW's Pasta with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce (Jen's Version)

2 jars of roasted red peppers, drained and blotted dry on a towel
4 tablespoons pine nuts, divided
1 medium onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup fat free half and half
1/3 cup of evaporated non-fat powdered milk
Fresh basil, chopped
Fresh Parmesan, shaved or grated
1 package of bow tie pasta

Drain liquid from jar of peppers. Remove peppers to a clean kitchen towel and blot dry. Place dry peppers in food processor. Lightly toast all the pine nuts in a dry skillet. Once nuts are toasted, place 2 Tablespoons of the toasted nuts in the food processor with the red peppers. Puree peppers with pine nuts. Set aside.

Cook pasta according to package directions.

In a skillet or pot over medium heat, drizzle in olive oil. Add diced onions and garlic and cook until soft. Pour in pepper puree and stir together. Add salt to taste. Let simmer on low for a few minutes, so mixture is thick.

In a separate small bowl, whisk together fat free half and half with evaporated non-fat milk, making sure there are no little lumps. Pour the half and half mixture into the red pepper mixture and stir to combine. Taste and add more salt, if necessary. Add cooked pasta, then stir together. Place pasta into a bowl, top with chopped basil and plenty of shaved Parmesan. Top with remaining 2 Tablespoons of toasted pine nuts sprinkled on top. Enjoy!!!


The original recipe called for a half cup of heavy cream, but according to Jen's blog entry of this recipe, the half and half and powdered milk combination is a much healthier substitution. I'm pretty sure that's how she made it in San Diego, and that's how I'm doing it tonight. I'm super excited for dinner tonight, and I'd better get started on it soon. I couldn't find whole wheat farfalle, so I think it's fusilli I bought instead.


This was good, but not as good as when Jen made it. Not sure if it was the different pasta or that I forgot to top with pine nuts or what, but her version was a lot better. I'll definitely make this again because I know how good it can be, I was just slightly disappointed with my version.

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