this may be my newest favorite weeknight meal. after eating so much steak, i was in the mood for a really good pasta dish, something with the bite of al dente noodles smothered in something richly tomato-y. i usually come upon recipes haphazardly – a food blog post or food network episode that strikes my fancy, an article in the morning paper that has me reaching for the scissors – but this time i was deliberate, heading over to epicurious and typing in every keyword i was craving. this winner came up.
if those steaks au poivre are something to bring to a candlelit table set for two, then this pasta recipe is a time to tag-team it in the kitchen, bumping elbows while you take turns stirring and chopping and scooching in close at the stovetop, and then mixing up a big bowl to spoon servings from before settling down to watch the week’s netflix pick. a cozy, casual dinner in – at its delicious best.
Pasta with Spicy Sun-Dried Tomato Cream Sauce
adapted fromBon Appétit, October 2000
Makes 4 main-course servings
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 8-oz. jar oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
½ cup whipping cream
1 12-oz. jar roasted red peppers, drained and chopped
½ teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
½ cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
¾ cup milk
1 lb. penne pasta
about ½ cup fresh basil, chopped or chiffonade, for garnish
- Make sauce: Heat oil in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add tomatoes, cream, red peppers and crushed red pepper; simmer over medium heat 2 minutes. Stir in ½ cup basil and simmer 1 minute longer. Remove from heat and add cheese and ½ cup milk and stir until incorporated; add more milk as needed to reach desired consistency.
- Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain, reserving ¾ cup pasta cooking liquid. Return pasta to pot. Add sauce, and toss to coat. Add enough reserved cooking liquid to pasta to moisten if dry. Season with salt and pepper. Top with more basil to serve.