On Sunday evening Scott and I hosted our first annual Oscar Party. We laid out the red carpet and had the paparazzi ready when the guests arrived. Living in a fairly small town, it is always nice to have an excuse to dress up, and our guests took their role serious! They could have given any number of Hollywood Stars a run for their money. We had women in long evening gowns, stilettos, feathers, and furs. The men came in tuxes, suits, vests and bow ties, not to mention the gangster style sunglasses and fedoras. We enjoyed delicious hors d’oeuvres, champagne, sparkling cider, and watching the Oscars. We lucked out on the weather as well. The ground was covered in the snow the following morning. Thankfully, Scott took up the “red carpet”, or we may have had quite a mess on our hands. We hope it will become a tradition or we’ll need to think of another excuse to get all snazzied up!
A quick, easy dish to make for guests on any occasion is penne pasta with fire-roasted red pepper cream sauce. This is one of my all-time favorite pasta dishes. Start the water boiling on the stove and by the time the pasta is cooked, the sauce will be ready to pour over the top!
Begin by setting your salted water to boil. Do not add
oil to the water! Cook pasta per directions on package.
In order to have my pasta cooked at the right time,
I add the pasta to the water before I add the chopped
tomatoes to my red sauce.
I use Napoleon Roasted Piquillo Peppers, but any jar of red peppers will do as long as they are
roasted. Place the red peppers along with the juice from the jar into a blender or food processor.
Place basil leaves on top of roasted peppers
and pulse a few times.
Blend red peppers and basil until basil is
In a skillet, cook the garlic & shallots in olive oil until
Drain oil from sun-dried tomatoes-do not rinse!
Add tomatoes into garlic & shallots. Continue to stir, keeping
your heat on medium.
Add one can of diced Italian-spiced tomatoes and the blended
roasted red peppers & basil.
Keeping heat on medium, add two cups of half & half. You
may lighten the calorie load by adding 1 cup half & half and
1 cup nonfat plain yogurt. It just changes the flavor a bit.
Place drained Penne pasta into a large bowl and add the sauce.
Sprinkle the top with parmesan cheese and gently fold in. Add
salt & pepper to taste.
Serve immediately…and of course, it is always delicious with
a nice bottle of red wine! Enjoy.
Penne Pasta with Fire-roasted Red Pepper Cream Sauce
1 12 oz package of GF Penne Pasta
1 8 oz jar Roasted Red Peppers
1 Cup Fresh Basil Leaves
1 8 oz jar Julienned Sun-dried Tomatoes
1 12 oz can diced Italian-spiced Tomatoes
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
3 Garlic Cloves- minced
2 Cups Half & Half (or 1 cup half & half, 1 cup non-fat plain yogurt)
3/4 Cup Fresh Grated Parmesan
Salt & Pepper (to taste)