Thursday, August 12, 2010

Ode to Italian food and The Pioneer Woman

Dear Italy,

Thank you for your pasta. Thank you for your food in general. It makes my life exponentially more enjoyable.

Also, thank you for your carbs. That way I have an excuse to make your food for my cardio-loving calorie-burning husband.

Love, Jess

I have to say...growing up, I hardly ate pasta. My family is more of a protein family than a carb family. BEEF it's what's for dinner....but really. That's what happens when you grow up on a cattle ranch. Therefore, pasta wasn't really in my culinary repertoire when Steve and I got married. Steve on the other hand, LOVES pasta. loves it loves it loves it. I needed to do something. So I turned to one of my favorite bloggers, P-Dub. Seriously, I think the Pioneer Woman single-handedly taught me how to cook pasta. Thank you Ree, you saved my marriage. Just kidding, kind of...

So the following recipe is adapted from a PW recipe, naturally.

Here we go...

Pasta with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce  

Here's what you'll need:

-1/2 lb. Dry short pasta
(I used a combo of penne and shells-that's just what I had in my pantry. Don't judge.)
-Fresh basil
-1/2 an onion
(white or yellow)
-3 cloves of garlic minced
-2 or 3 roasted red bell peppers
(amount depends on their size, I used 3 because mine were small)
-1/2 to 1 cup skim milk
-salt and pepper to taste
-olive oil to saute

1. Start by boiling your pasta

2. While it's boiling put your roasted red peppers in the blender and blend them up

(I had a jar of roasted red peppers on hand so I just used those, but these are fairly simple to make if you just have plain red bell peppers. Click here for the link to PW's recipe, she'll teach you how to make them!)

3. Now mince your garlic...

4. And dice your onion

5. Heat up some olive oil in a deep pan and add your onion and garlic. Saute it for a while...until the onion is soft and your kitchen smells divine. Then add your pureed peppers.

Notice my measurements are kind of vague long should the olive oil heat up? How much olive oil do I put in in the first place? How long do I saute the onion and garlic? Till it's soft? What's that supposed to mean?

You see, the problem is...when I start making pasta I start to think I'm Italian, and all I want to do is kiss my fingers and dance around the kitchen throwing random amounts of spices into my bear with me.

This is what is should look like!

6. Next, add your skim milk. PW uses heavy cream, but I like my pasta lighter so I opt out. I don't think the skim milk takes away from the flavor at all. My guilt ingredient of choice is butter, heavy cream just doesn't tickle my fancy...unless it's whipped and placed upon fresh summer peaches, but that's a story for another time.

7. Oh also  add plenty of salt and pepper here...Seriously...PLENTY of salt. The red pepper is pretty bland without it. You can tell your doctor I made you do it, I make for an excellent scape goat.

8. Now add your pasta, take your pan off the heat, and add some fresh basil yummy.

I served this with slices of Parmesan bruschetta (another Italian favorite)

Do yourself a favor and pretend you're Italian for the night

You wont regret it!

Love, Steve and Jess


  1. I can attest that the pasta tastes as good as it looks.

    Yes, I'm a very lucky guy.

  2. oh i love pioneer woman. she saved me too :)


Love Notes