It’s been pretty gloomy around here these past few weeks. It seems like the drizzle and grey skies will never end. A tropical vacation would be pretty gosh darn nice right about now. So if anyone would like to invite me to go away somewhere, I’m game. I’ll just wait here patiently for my invitation…
But until then, I’ll take some exquisitely colored foods to help elevate my mood. Like this Penne Pasta with Roasted Red Pepper and Goat Cheese Sauce. It’s vivid red color and subtle zippy-ness is enough to pull anyone out of their winter slump! And you can have it on the table in under 30 minutes. Yahoo!
A few quick notes on the recipe. Obviously, you can use any type of pasta you like. But something with ridges or tubes with do a better job at capturing the sauce. Also, I would recommend using the kind of goat cheese that comes in a log verses goat cheese crumbles, which I find don’t melt as smoothly. And you could certainly substitute bacon for the pancetta, if you prefer.
Recipe adapted from Gimme Some Oven
- For the Pasta
- 1 lb (16 ounces) penne pasta
- 24 ounces roasted red peppers (the kind in the jars)
- 5 ounces pancetta, diced
- 1 large shallot, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes, depending on your preferred spice level
- 3/4 cups chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 4 ounces goat cheese
- For Serving
- Fresh basil leaves, torn if large
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the penne pasta and cook according to the package instructions. Drain and set aside.
- Meanwhile, prepare your sauce. Add the roasted red peppers and their juices to your blender. Blend on high until smooth. Set aside. Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta and cook until it’s just starting to get crisp, about 3-5 minutes. Remove the pancetta with a slotted spoon and transfer it to a paper towel-lined plate. Place your skillet back over medium heat and add the diced shallots. Sauté until they are softened, about 2-3 minutes. If your skillet is getting dry, you can add a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil. Add the minced garlic and the red pepper flakes and sauté for another minute. Add the pureed roasted red peppers, chicken stock and the balsamic vinegar. Simmer for about 5 minute, stirring occasionally. Add the goat cheese and stir until it’s melted into the sauce. Taste and add additional salt and pepper, if desired.
- Add the cooked pancetta and pasta to your skillet, tossing gently to coat the pasta with the sauce. Serve immediately with fresh basil leaves and a sprinkling of grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.
- Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 2-3 days.