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Rigatoni with Red Pepper & Parmigiano Cream Sauce


Serves 4

  • To learn more, read:
    Pasta from the Pantry
  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 81

The combination of roasted red peppers and cream gives this sauce a rich, satisfying feel. You could stir in some sautéed cauliflower or Italian sausage to add a little more substance.

  • Kosher salt
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 12-oz. jar roasted red peppers, drained and thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3/4 cup homemade or low-salt canned chicken broth
  • 1 Tbs. sherry vinegar
  • 2 Tbs. heavy cream
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 lb. dried rigatoni or penne rigate

Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil.

Heat the oil and garlic in a 10-inch straight-sided sauté pan over medium heat until the garlic sizzles steadily for about 1 minute and just starts to brown around the edges. Add the roasted red peppers, thyme, and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes to heat through. Add the chicken broth and sherry vinegar. Raise the heat to medium high and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, let cool for a couple of minutes, and then transfer to a blender or food processor and purée.

Return the puréed pepper mixture to the sauté pan. Stir in the cream and 3/4 cup of the Parmigiano and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Meanwhile, cook the rigatoni in the boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until it’s just tender to the tooth (see the package for cooking time). Drain and add the pasta to the sauté pan. Cook over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes, tossing and stirring, to blend the flavors and slightly thicken the sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve immediately, sprinkled with the remaining cheese and a few grinds of black pepper.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : based on four servings, Calories (kcal): 540, Fat (kcal): 13, Fat Calories (g): 120, Saturated Fat (g): 4.5, Protein (g): 18, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 6, Carbohydrates (mg): 80, Polyunsaturated Fat (mg): 1.5, Sodium (g): 1190, Cholesterol (g): 15, Fiber (g): 3,

Photo: Scott Phillips

Made this last night. Roasted my own peppers rather than buying them in a jar. Bumped it up a notch with about 1-1 1/2 tsp of fresh chipotle flakes rather than red pepper flakes and it was amazing. Found it a bit easier to cook the sauce in a saucepan and use a stick blender then transfer to the empty pasta pot after the pasta was drained. Definitely making this again.

The product is delicious, but I used regular parmesan cheese that came in a bag instead of grating it myself. The cheese clumped together a bit when mixing it in. It is best to stir the cream in first and probably to stir the cheese in at the last minute so it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan or clump.

very easy to make (and fast!). substituted the heavy cream with half & half to ease the caloric "ouch" factor and it still tasted wonderful. :)

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