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Food This Creamy Red Pepper Pasta Sauce Basically Makes Itself

17:05  21 september  2021
17:05  21 september  2021 Source:   msn.com

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a bowl of food on a plate © Photo by Isa Zapata, Food Styling by Pearl Jones, Prop Styling by Anne Eastman

The only thing better than a good recipe? When something's so easy to make that you don't even need one. Welcome to It's That Simple, a column where we talk you through the process of making the dishes and drinks we can make with our eyes closed.

Scabby knees from falling over while playing tipsy mini golf. Sunburnt skin flaking like desiccated coconut. Ninety percent humidity and three-digit temperatures. These are all things that I bid good riddance to come leafy-perfect-snuggly fall—my favorite season in the Northeast. But there is one summer thing, every late September, that I grip onto like a rogue boogie board in the whitewash: ripe and creamy red pepper pasta.

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The sauce is the most versatile, delicious, and kinda impressive condiment I make (at least weekly) during the months when those sweet, crunchy bulbs are ripe for the cookin’. Slow roasted red peppers and onions are blitzed in a blender with fresh herbs, before being tossed with curly cavatappi. The pasta dish is my favorite way to eat this sauce—glossy noods in rich, velvety goodness—but any leftovers make for a fun and fancy bottom-of-the-plate swoosh upon which to serve buttery white fish, grilled lamb chops, or roasted broccoli.

But, as I transition from t-shirts to turtlenecks and the farmers market is all pumpkins and cider, it feels wrong to buy those season-defying tricolor pepper packets from the supermarket. So I’ll head over to the canned-everything aisle instead, where jewel-toned pickles and preserves twinkle away under fluorescent light. With just a few heavy-hitting pantry staples—anchovies, sun dried tomatoes, nut butter, and charred-at-their-peak peppers—I can recreate my favorite summer pasta sauce in a matter of literal minutes. No oven (and no special, summer-only produce) necessary!

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Here’s how to make it:

Boil a pound of of pasta—like cavatappi, fusilli, or reginetti; anything short and funky that the sauce will stick to—in salted water for one minute less than the instructions recommend. Drain and reserve about two cups pasta water.

Strain the liquid from a 16 ounce jar of roasted red peppers. (Note: being the main ingredient, quality is key here. Try and opt for whole red peppers with visible signs of char, like Divina’s.) Add the peppers to a blender with 4 tablespoons cashew butter (or almond if you can’t get it/don’t want to hand over your life savings); 7 oil-packed sundried tomato pieces (plus 2 tablespoons of their oil); 4 anchovies; ½ ounce fresh basil leaves (about a handful); 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes; 2 raw garlic cloves; and 1 cup pasta water. (If you want to make sauce without pasta, you can use regular water here instead.) Blend on high until the sauce is smooth. Add kosher salt and black pepper to taste.

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Return your cooked pasta to the pot you boiled it in and pour in about half of the blender sauce. Keep adding glugs until each noodle is fully slicked. Turn the burner on to low heat, add ½ cup pasta water, and stir gently until it’s mostly evaporated. Add ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese and another ½ cup pasta water, then keep stirring to combine. The cheese should be fully incorporated and the sauce clinging to the pasta. Store any leftover sauce in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.

For me, a pile of red pepper pasta and a glass of tempranillo needs nothing or no one, but if you’re hankering for a salad, simple, vinegary greens are the perfect sidekick. Thanks to jarred peppers, this summer-y favorite never goes out of style. Neither do my turtlenecks.

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