Friday, June 3, 2011

Rotini Pasta with Rosemary and Sweet Peppers

Perfect summer pasta - light, flavorful, full of veggies, with a simple and flavorful sauce. This comes together in the time it takes to cook the pasta and is a great side dish or an entree. It works well with chicken or and bold, grilled meat.

With all the veggies in season, this recipe has endless variation possibilities.

8 oz. rotini pasta ($.35)
1 T. olive oil ($.05)
1/2 small onion, minced ($.05)
1 medium orange bell pepper ($.20)
1 ancient red bell pepper ($.15)
2 T. white wine ($.10)
4 oz. cream cheese, light ($.35)
2 cloves garlic, minced ($.10)
3 T. parmesan cheese ($.20)
1 tsp. rosemary ($.05)
salt and pepper, to taste ($.05)
1 T. parsley ($.05)

Cook rotini according to package directions.

Heat olive oil in a large, nonstick skillet. Add onion and rosemary and sautee until translucent - over a medium-low heat.
Mince bell peppers and garlic and add to onions, season with salt and pepper, then cook until peppers are tender.
Add in white wine to deglaze the pan.
Melt cream cheese into sautee veggies and add parmesan.
Add 1/3 C. of the pasta water, whisk until combined and sauce slightly thickens.
Add in pasta, toss to coat well, and top with parsley.

Yields = 3-4 servings
Cost: $1.70
Cost per serving: $.57

Variation ideas:
1. Fold in 2-3 T. Dijon mustard along with the cream cheese for a robust flavor.
2. Swap out one of the peppers for sugar snap peas.
3. Add in cremini mushrooms (quartered or steak sliced) along with the onions.
4. Fold in 1/4 C. thin sliced spinach or fresh basil after sauce has thickened.
5. Add in 1/4 C. shredded mozzarella as a topping or stir in after adding pasta.
6. Add 1/2 C. shredded carrot when sauteeing the peppers.
7. Top pasta with grilled chicken strips or grilled shrimp skewers.

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