Saturday Dinner Decisions


Bow Tie Pasta with Red Pepper Cream Sauce

Running some errands on a recent Saturday morning after my Pilates class I realized that we had not decided on our dinner plans that morning.  We went out the night before to our favorite Italian restaurant for pizza and salad and knew that we wanted to stay home that Saturday Night.  Hubby was off picking up our son from a sleep over and running his pre Thanksgiving errands as well.  I called his cell and said ” We will go with my plan for dinner”.  This is a running joke in the house,  when one of us comes home and dinner wasn’t decided that morning, you will hear  – “I think we will go with your plans for dinner!”
I stopped at the local Italian grocery store Vince’s for two things that morning.  The first was the ingredients for some cookies I was making and the second was to browse their prepared food case to see what would taste good.  I had already pulled out the recipe for the pasta and had all the ingredients to make this,  but needed something to go along with it.  I always remember when our little Giada from across the street made Braciole for one of our first dinner clubs.  We still talk about it to this day.  Well, Vince’s had some and the perfect size for the three of us.  Just needed the sauce to cover it and with this recipe I had plenty!
The Braciole was delicious, but the pasta dish was the biggest hit!  Especially with our son, the pasta eating machine!


1 pound uncooked farfalle (bow tie pasta)
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil  
1/2 cup finely chopped onion 
1 (12-ounce) bottle roasted red bell peppers, drained and coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar 
1 cup half-and-half  
1 tablespoon tomato paste    

1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 cup (4 ounces) freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
Thinly sliced fresh basil (optional)


Cook the pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, and cook 8 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Add bell peppers; cook 2 minutes or until heated through. Increase heat to medium-high. Stir in vinegar; cook 1 minute or until liquid evaporates. Remove from heat; cool 5 minutes.
Place bell pepper mixture in a blender; process until smooth. Return bell pepper mixture to pan; cook over low heat until warm. Combine half-and-half and tomato paste in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Stir tomato mixture into bell pepper mixture, stirring with a whisk until well combined. Stir in ground red pepper.
Combine pasta and bell pepper mixture in a large bowl. Add 1/2 cup cheese, tossing to coat. Spoon 1 1/3 cups pasta into each of 6 bowls; top each with about 1 1/2 tablespoons cheese. Garnish with basil, if desired

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