If there’s any dish I want for my Valentine’s dinner, it’s without doubt pasta. Pasta of any kind will do really, but this roasted red pepper linguine sort of feels like Valentine’s Day to me. Maybe it’s because the long never ending strands of pasta remind me of the iconic spaghetti scene from The Lady and the Tramp. Maybe it’s because of the perfectly reddish hue that roasted red peppers have when pureed. Maybe it’s the simple fact that I’m a pasta addict. Or maybe it’s because of its effortless nature and ability to be incredibly uncomplicated, yet utterly elegant at the same time.
The base of the sauce starts with sweet red bell peppers that have been roasted until every surface of vibrant red is covered in a black smoky char, they’re then peeled, seeded, and thrown into a blender to puree. Goat cheese and salt are blended in, then the mixture is transferred to a small saucepan to simmer and just a touch of heavy cream is swirled in. Toss sauce with hot linguine, sprinkle with a little bit of grated parmesan cheese, fresh basil, and your Valentine’s entrée is complete.
For a complete meal, pair pasta with a leafy mixed green salad and hearty pieces of crusty Italian bread.
Oh, and don’t forget to serve this love-worthy Balsamic Strawberry and Goat Cheese crostini as a precursor to the meal….
- 2 red bell peppers
- 2 ounces goat cheese
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup cream
- ¼ parmesan cheese
- basil for garnish
- 6 ounces linguine
- Roast Peppers.
- With gas burner: place peppers over flame and char all sides of the pepper, there should be no red showing at all . After charring is complete transfer peppers to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let set for 15-20 minutes. Remove skin, ribs, and seeds from peppers.
- In the broiler: Place in the broiler and char on all sides turning as you go. After charring is complete transfer peppers to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let set for 15-20 minutes. Remove skin, ribs, and seeds from pepper.
- Bring a large stockpot to a rolling boil and add pasta and a liberal amount of kosher salt. Cook until al dente.
- Place roasted red peppers in a blender. Blend until completely smooth. Add goat cheese and salt. Blend until smooth.
- Transfer to a small saucepan and turn the heat to a medium low. Add cream and simmer five minutes.Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Add sauce to cooked pasta. If necessary, season to taste with salt and pepper again.
- Top with parmesan cheese and basil.