This is the first dish I could cook without looking at a recipe. Not that it’s much of a challenge, I mean, we’re talking about 5 ingredients tossed together in a skillet; it isn’t exactly brain surgery. However, for a college student cooking in the kitchen of her first apartment, it made me seem like quite the fancy cook to be able to whip together a dinner that didn’t come from a box with flavor packets.
Now, there are a few eating habits that I have grown out of since college. Easy Mac is one of them (although I try to turn a blind eye when Chase continues to make it in the microwave). This recipe, however, is a keeper. It’s easy, filling, and a crowd-pleaser. You can eat it hot off the stove with melted cheese dripping off each little piece of pasta, or you can serve it cold as a pasta salad.
Another reason that I love this dish is because in some ways it marks my entrance into the cooking world. When I was in high school and working at Saluda Grade Café, the chef, Kaye Strang (now Vasquez since she recently got married) agreed to teach me how to cook. I came to work every day with a notebook and in my downtimes I would work back in the kitchen and write down recipes. This is the recipe on page 1 of that notebook. So, from Kaye’s kitchen to mine, and from my kitchen to yours I hope you enjoy this tasty pasta!
Penne Pasta with Roasted Red Peppers
Adapted from Kaye Vasquez
Want to make this dish uber healthy? Just use whole-wheat pasta and this is a guilt-free meal. I normally use penne with this recipe, but any short pasta will work.
1lb penne pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
5 oz roasted red peppers (about 2 full peppers), sliced or julienned
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped or chiffonade
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
Cook the pasta in boiling water, drain and set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet Add the red peppers and garlic and saute over medium heat for 3-5 minutes. Add in the pasta and basil and toss in the red-pepper infused oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Serve topped with parmesan cheese.