Friday, April 27, 2012

Creamy Peppercorn Pasta

I love a good, easy pasta. Really who doesn't? This recipe is full of flavor, but really is easy to throw together. The combination of cream and peppercorns is fantastic, especially if you are a fresh-pepper lover like myself (I like it on almost everything, including my green salads; really you should try it) and I added some balsamic which is quite mellow with the cream, but adds some depth of flavor to the recipe. 

As a note, and before you get your pasta cooking, make sure you pay attention to the direction that indicates reserving some of your pasta water before draining. The reason this is important is because that pasta water is full of starch, which will help thicken your sauce and also help the sauce stick to your pasta. If you do happen to pour all that water down the drain, don't despair, just use hot tap water and remember for the next time. In fact, I think it is a good idea to always reserve some of that pasta water whenever you are making pasta in case your sauce needs a little more moisture.

Creamy Peppercorn Pasta
Recipe by Caroline
Picture by Caroline
Serves 2

1 tablespoon butter
½ red onion, diced
½ large sweet red pepper, diced
4 white mushrooms, diced
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
¼ cup heavy cream at room temperature
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
½ tablespoon dried basil
½ tablespoon cracked peppercorns
½ teaspoon salt or to taste
½ pound dried short pasta

1. Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon salt and the pasta and cook according to the directions on the package until al dente. Before draining cooked pasta, ladle 1 cup of the pasta water into a glass measuring cup and reserve.
2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat butter over medium heat. Add vegetable and sauté until beginning to soften. Add vinegar stir, then the cream and stir until heated through. Add basil, pepper and salt, stir.
3. Off the heat add the cooked pasta, if the pasta seems dry add some of the reserved cooking water. Stir in the parmesan until well combined and serve warm.

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