Roasted Red Pepper Penne with Chorizo and Feta

I like pasta recipes that are just a little different. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I like spaghetti with some hearty tomato sauce just as much as the next gal, but I try to find different combinations. I love pesto on pasta (especially when it’s homemade!) and I often make sauces with totally random ingredients (cream cheese and tomato paste – yum).

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When I saw this one, I knew it would be a winner. I’ve told you about my new-found love of bell peppers, particularly of the red and roasted variety, so I don’t know why I didn’t think of it myself.

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This recipe will impress guests because it seems way more difficult than it is. The roasted red peppers shine, the chorizo adds a little heat, and that feta cheese just brings everything together. It’s healthy, especially if you don’t add the cream (I didn’t, and it was still delicious). It is also quick enough for a week night dinner, even if you are pressed for time. The sauce even keeps well in the freezer, if you are like me and only cook for 1 or 2. Seriously, what is not to love?

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I’ve been using this Tru Roots Ancient Grains Penne whenever I make pasta lately. It is gluten-free (if you’re into that), and is a lot healthier than regular pasta. I’ve heard mixed reviews, but I happen to really like it. If you haven’t yet, you should give it a try! I found a giant bag for pretty cheap at Costco and it’s lasted me forever.

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Roasted Red Pepper Penne with Chorizo and Feta

Adapted from The Pioneer Woman 

Serves 8 

12 oz of Penne Noodles (or enough for however many you are serving)

4 tbsp Butter

1/2 a Yellow Onion, diced

2 cloves Garlic, minced

1 jar (15.5 oz) Roasted Red Bell Peppers, drained and chopped

1 cup Vegetable or Chicken Broth

1/2 tsp Salt

1/2 cup Heavy Cream, optional

Fresh Basil, chopped, optional  

1/2 of a Chorizo Sausage (or 2 tbsp per serving), diced

1/2 cup Feta Cheese (or 2 tbsp per serving)

Fresh Ground Pepper, to taste

1. Melt 2 tbsp of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and sauté for 2 or 3 minutes until starting to soften. Add the chopped roasted red peppers and cook for 2 or 3 minutes, until hot.

2. Remove skillet from the heat.  Transfer the contents to a food processor and puree until smooth.

2. Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions.

3. Heat the other 2 tbsp of butter in the same skillet, back over medium heat. Pour the pepper puree back into the skillet. Add the broth and salt, stir until heated. If using, add in the cream a stir until heated.

4. Drain the pasta and add it to the skillet. If you are not using all of the sauce, put the pasta back into the pot it was cooked in and add in enough sauce to coat it well, plus a little extra.

5. Add in fresh basil (if you have it) and 3/4 of the feta cheese and all of the chopped chorizo sausage. Stir to combine. Serve in bowls with fresh ground pepper and remaining feta cheese.

* If you do not have chorizo sausage or feta, this is still delicious plain with fresh parmesan cheese in place of the feta. It would also be yummy with other herbs added, or goat cheese, or prosciutto, or bacon… the possibilities are endless!

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