Roasted red pepper pasta is worth the heat

The other day, despite the heat, I decided to heat up my kitchen by cranking my oven to 500 degrees.

I did this for two reasons. First, our grill is out of pro?pane, and I was not interested in making a trip to the store. Second, I was hungry, and the recipe in front of me looked good enough that I was willing to sweat for it.

So I roasted red peppers in my oven?in June?in Kansas, and it was awesome.

The recipe I used to make roasted red pepper pasta came from a blog called ?Minimalist Baker.? It was originally written to be a vegan recipe, but I substituted milk and cheese into it. You can find the original at http://minimalistbaker.com/?vegan-roasted-red-pepper-pasta-gf/#_a5y_p=2099867.

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Roasted Red Pepper Pasta

Ingredients

2 red bell peppers

2 tablespoons olive oil

5-6 minced garlic cloves

1 1/2 cups milk (I used two percent.)

2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch

salt and pepper to taste

a pinch of red pepper flakes

Pasta of your choice (I used penne.)

Directions

Preheat your oven to 500 degrees (or do this step on the grill outside to keep the heat low in the house).

Roast the peppers on a baking sheet for about 30 minutes, turning halfway through to get them evenly charred.

Remove the peppers from the oven, place them in a bowl, and cover it with plastic wrap to sweat the peppers for about 10 minutes (this will make the skin easier to remove).

Cook your pasta according to the package directions, drain and set aside.

While your pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and saute the garlic for a few minutes to lightly brown it.

Peel the skin off the peppers and remove the stems and seeds. Chop the peppers roughly (save the juice; we?ll use that in the sauce, too).

Place the garlic, peppers and their juices, milk, cheese, cornstarch, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to a blender and blend until smooth.

After blending, give the sauce a taste and add more cheese, red pepper, salt and/or pepper until you reach the taste you like (I definitely added more cheese!).

Pour the sauce back into the skillet and heat over medium heat to thicken it up a bit. Stir it occasionally, and once it reaches a good simmer, turn the heat down to low.

Add your pasta to the sauce and stir to coat.

Top with more cheese if so desired.

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If you like roasted red pepper soup, you will love this pasta sauce. I upped the spice for ours, and it was a great adult-friendly meal, but the spice could easily be eliminated for a younger crowd.

In the end, it was worth heating up the kitchen for this pasta?although I don?t think I?ll be brave enough to try this again in July.

When not helping husband Joey with newspaper work, Lindsey teaches speech, debate and forensics at Haven High School. She can be reached at lindseyclarion@gmail.com.