Roasted red peppers (or any form of bell peppers, for that matter) are easily one of my husband's least favorite things. When served this pasta, however, he practically inhaled it. Leave it to heavy cream and cheese to solve all problems.
Blend a jar of roasted red peppers into a classic alfredo sauce and you not only improve on the peppers themselves (which can often be slimy and uninspiring straight from the jar), but you also improve on the sauce itself, giving it a rich, smoky sweetness and the prettiest red-orange hue.
The Best Decadent Pasta to Add to Your Roster
A cream-based pasta dish isn't something you're going to make every night, but when the mood strikes, this recipe will deliver. The roasted red peppers brighten things up, making it a rich sauce that doesn't actually weigh you down like some of the others. It comes together in under 10 minutes — the same time it takes for you to boil up some pasta — which means this is a dish that's destined for a cozy dinner after a long day.
Wine & Dine: What to Drink
If you're cooking up a decadent pasta, you should definitely pop open a bottle of wine to make a night of it. My pick is Valpolicella Classico (sometimes just labeled Valpolicella). This red wine comes from the Veneto region of Italy in the north and is typically made from three local grape varietals. There is a whole range of Valpolicella wine, from the simple and affordable Classico to pricey and complex Amarone to even the rare dessert wine Recioto, but Classico is a great place to start. These wines are light- to medium-bodied, young, and fresh — the ultimate complement to a creamy pasta like this. To best enjoy this style of wine, chill it slightly in the fridge for an hour or 15 minutes in the freezer.
3 Bottles of Valpolicella Under $15
Roasted Red Pepper Alfredo
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (12-ounce) jar roasted red peppers, drained and coarsely chopped
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onion and sauté until translucent and soft, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute more. Remove from the heat.
Stir in the peppers, cream, cheese, salt, and a few grinds of black pepper. Transfer to a stand blender and blend until smooth; set aside. (Alternatively, use an immersion blender right in the saucepan.)
Add the pasta to the pot of boiling water and cook until al dente according to package instructions. Reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta water, then drain the pasta. Return the pasta to the pot.
Add the pepper sauce and toss to combine. If needed, add the reserved pasta water a tablespoon at a time to loosen the sauce so that the pasta is evenly coated. Sprinkle with the basil and more Parmesan and serve immediately.
- Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.