In My Kitchen: Rigatoni Romesco

Red bell peppers give a fun flair to the ordinary weeknight pasta dish. And buttery breadcrumbs make everything – EVERYTHING – better.

You’ll need:

  • Pasta:
  • 1 pound rigatoni
  • Buttered Parmesan-Herb Breadcrumbs:
  • ¼ cup (½ stick) salted butter
  • ⅔ cup plain breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon thinly sliced chives
  • ⅓ cup grated Parmesan
  • Romesco Sauce:
  • 1 (16 ounce) jar roasted red bell peppers, drained
  • 1 ½ tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 3 tablespoons minced parsley
  • 2 tablespoons minced basil leaves

Instructions:
1. Fill a pot with water, place over high heat and bring to a boil. Add a small handful of salt and rigatoni and boil, stirring occasionally, until al dente, 6 to 7 minutes.

2. Drain pasta into a colander, reserving ⅔ cup pasta water. Set aside.

3. Make breadcrumbs: Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat and add breadcrumbs. Stir and toast breadcrumbs for 3 to 4 minute, and remove from heat. Stir in herbs and transfer into a small mixing bowl. Once mixture has cooled, stir in Parmesan. Set aside.

4. Make Romesco Sauce: Place all ingredients into a blender and puree until smooth. Pour mixture into skillet and place over medium-low heat. Stir in reserved pasta water and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes.

5. Add pasta into sauce and toss together until pasta is fully coated. Season with salt and pepper.

6. Pour coated pasta onto a serving platter, top with buttered, Parmesan-herb breadcrumbs and serve.

Source: Adapted from a recipe by Spoon Fork Bacon

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