Sunday, August 12, 2012

Butta la Pasta!

My mom’s side of the family is Italian.  My great grand parents both took a boat from Sicily to get to America and this is where they raised their family.  My Mawmaw {great grandma} was the most amazing cook.  Man, I miss her.  She would make pasta by hand…BY HAND, people!!!  Everything she made was from scratch.  She was a phenom in the kitchen.  She started the tradition of family pasta on Sundays.  My grandma has continued that tradition for years.  I usually can’t wait for Sundays to eat pasta.  Truth be told, I could eat pasta every.single.night.  Mr. Spouse?!?!  Notsomuch.  I have to get creative with my pasta dishes so he doesn’t feel like he’s having “the same pasta” dish every time we dine on noodles.  Thankfully, he’s a pretty good sport about it, but what man isn’t when he’s being fed a home-cooked meal?!?!  This pasta dish was a HIT.  It reminded me of Mawmaw.  Tasted like it was made from scratch…and it kinda was :) 


adapted from Menu Musings of a Modern American Woman

1 lb. penne pasta

4 cloves garlic

1/3 cup grated Parmesan

1 cup {jarred} roasted red bell peppers, drained

1 cup fresh basil leaves

salt & pepper

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup heavy cream {optional}

roasted rotisserie chicken {optional}


Go ahead and get your ingredients ready.


You might be noticing my chicken omission.  I REALLY like meatless pasta dishes, so I opted to leave out the poultry.

Cook pasta according to package directions.  While the pasta is cooking, pour the olive oil into a medium sized skillet and add in the garlic cloves.  Cook on medium heat until the garlic is golden and fragrant.


Oh how I LOVE the smell of garlic.  Rest assured, I am NO vampire.  But that reminds me.  My sister used to date this guy that Mr. Spouse SWORE was a vampire.  I really hope he was kidding.  Anyway…once it’s golden and fragrant, and both garlic & oil to your food processor and pulse.  If you lost parts of your food processor in a recent move, use your blender instead. Pulse until the garlic/oil makes a little paste.  Then toss in the basil, roasted red pepper, parmesan cheese, and salt & pepper {to taste}.  Pulse again until it forms a thick paste/pesto sauce.  I forgot the “after” pictures.  I was too consumed with the amazing smell.  Ooops.

roastedpepperpestopasta3  roastedpepperpestopasta4

Now, once the pasty pesto is prepped, you can add the cream and pulse some more.  I completely forgot this step so I didn’t include any in mine and it was just perfect.  However, if you like a creamier sauce, you might want to add the cream now.

Pour the pesto over the pasta and mix until well combined.


If you’re so inclined, toss some shaved parmesan on top and add a few sliced cherry tomatoes to finish it all off.  Stand back and swoon.


I feel like I’m cheating on Mawmaw when I say this, but this just *might* rank as my favorite pasta dish to date.  You must remember that I love every.single.flavor in this dish…red bell pepper, basil, garlic…it’s like a marriage of all my favorites.  How could I NOT be in love?!?!?


Rotisserie chicken would’ve been a GREAT addition, but I wasn’t in the mood for meat in my pasta.  I mean, y’all.  This was SOOOOOOO good.  SO good.  It’s not often that a meal leaves me speechless…ummm, well that’s not ENTIRELY true…but this one did!  And I might have been extra speechless because I kept shoving the pasta into my mouth before I could swallow the first bite ;)  Seriously people…if you like pasta…and the rest of the aforementioned flavors…do yourself a favor and put this on your menu TONIGHT.


Butta la pasta!  It’s time for dinner!!!!


  1. Looks like a wonderful pasta dish! I will have to try this! My family also comes from Sicily, my grandma made pasta from hand, and we still eat pasta every Sunday night! I love this tradition! My family did it growing up and now my brother and I have our own families and still carry on the tradition. Thankfully Mr. loves pasta and could eat regular spaghetti & meatballs every Sunday! Love this post it warmed my heart today to know that others do this too!

  2. This sounds wonderful! I have some leftover pesto already that I can just add the roasted peppers and cream to. Since my Mr. Spouse doesn't believe in meatless dinners, I will be adding the chicken :)

  3. Hi! I really like your recipes and pictures! Can I make a suggestion? Put a picture of the finished dish up near the top of each post so we can see how delicious it is right away!

  4. Ok! That's what I am making for dinner! Thanks!

  5. This looks amazing! I just got back from Italy about a month ago and this just brings back so many memories of delicious meals. Can't wait to try it!

  6. This looks so good!!!

  7. This looks amazing! I can't wait to try it next week! Thank you!