Ingredients Jump to Instructions ↓

  1. Penne with Roasted Peppers, Saffron, and Basil Cream

  2. Makes 4 servings

  3. 1 large red bell pepper

  4. 1 large yellow bell pepper

  5. 1/8 teaspoon saffron threads

  6. 1/2 cup hot water

  7. 2 large tomatoes

  8. 1 tablespoon virgin olive oil

  9. 1 medium-sized red onion, finely diced

  10. 3 garlic cloves, pounded to a paste or finely chopped

  11. A handful of basil leaves, finely sliced

  12. 1 cup half-and-half

  13. 3/4 pound penne or other dried pasta

  14. Freshly grated Romano or Parmesan cheese

  15. Roast the peppers. Cut them into small squares and set aside.

  16. Cover the saffron threads with the hot water. Bring a small pan

  17. of water to a boil, submerge the tomatoes for 15 seconds, and remove

  18. them. Take off the skins, slice the tomatoes in half, gently

  19. squeeze out the juices, and cut the flesh into small squares.

  20. Warm the oil in a wide skillet and add the onion. Cook over

  21. medium-high heat until the onion is just starting to color; then

  22. add the garlic, a few tablespoons water, and half the basil.

  23. Continue cooking until the onions have softened; then add the

  24. peppers, tomatoes, saffron threads and the liquid, and half-and-half;

  25. simmer until the sauce has thickened as much as you like.

  26. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add salt to taste and the

  27. pasta, and cook until it is al dente. Drain and add it to the

  28. sauce. Gently toss to combine and season with plenty of

  29. pepper. Serve garnished with the remaining basil and a light

  30. dusting of cheese.

  31. Roasted Peppers

  32. Makes approximately 2 cups

  33. 2 large red or yellow bell peppers with thick flesh

  34. Extra-virgin olive oil

  35. 1 or 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

  36. Salt

  37. Freshly ground pepper

  38. Red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar

  39. After roasting peppers, set in a bowl, cover with a plate, and allow it to stand for at least 10 minutes to steam.

  40. Carefully scrape away the charred peel with a knife. Save any of

  41. the syrupy juices that collect in the bottom of the bowl. Cut open

  42. the peppers, scrape out the seeds, cut the flesh into strips, and add them to the bowl with the juices. Toss with the olive oil,

  43. add the garlic, and season lightly with salt, pepper, and vinegar,

  44. to taste. Store in a covered jar in the refrigerator.


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