Friday, March 30, 2012

Roasted Red Pepper and Goat Cheese Alfredo

Wow the name of this dish is a mouthful! I should probably have added spinach and chicken into that title somewhere, but I thought I should leave it alone.

I spend a large chunk of my day nursing my 9 week old son. And I spend a large chunk of that time on Pinterest. Thank goodness I have nursing as an excuse to do it :P (Although I have yet to find an excuse for the time I spend on that website NOT nursing...). I started using Pinterest to browse hair styles and craft ideas, but now almost all I do is look for new and interesting recipes to try.

I came across this recipe last night, and I kept it open in a tab to come back to (as I do when I find something I want to look over with more detail later). I thought it sounded and looked super yummy. I came back to it during our 5am feeding as well. I don't know how I feel about goat cheese (and I most definitely don't know how Steve feels about it), but I figured if it was seasoned with herbs like that, it can't be that bad!

So I went and picked up my ingredients this morning. I plan to double the recipe as I normally do. And as one normally does, I did alter my version of the recipe a tad; I did not double the goat cheese, as I wasn't sure if I would like it (turns out I do!), I added about half a bag of spinach and did not use the optional artichoke hearts, I threw in some chicken (my hubby isn't big on strictly veg meals lol), and I did not puree the sauce and roasted peppers together (mostly because my food processor is just a wee one, and in my mind my hand mixer was going to do the same thing.... unfortunately it wasn't until I had already turned it on that i realized how brain dead that idea was lol... "hmmm those aren't chopping blades are they...")

My ingredients and the recipe I mostly followed

Oh! And the chicken!

Everything came together really well. A great thing about these kinds of recipes is that you really don't need to be THAT accurate in your measurements... I added 2 cloves of garlic more than double what was called for, and I totally eyeballed the half and half and cheese. It still came out amazing.

I wasn't sure what to expect from the goat cheese... my grocery store didn't have a herb and garlic kind but they did have herbed, I figured that was close enough. I expected to be wrestling with chunks of goat cheese in my sauce while it was cooking. I debated pre-melting it. But I'm glad I didn't because it melted beautifully, and oh man, the herbs that it was coated in MADE this sauce. SO amazingly delicious.


Oh I had also never roasted a red pepper before.... my house smelled AH-MAH-ZING while they were roasting! But when it came time to peel the skin and cut them up I was not a fan! Those things are slimy!! lol, and when you cut into them all of these thick oily juices pour out! (not to ruin your appetite, but I could only compare it to a woman's water breaking lol.............. sorry)


They sure are purdy!

It all came together great! I would make this over and over again! I DEVOURED my dish full it was ridiculous. But Steve also loved it, and Hannah was SILENT at dinner and ATE FOOD! Hallelujah! I don't care how expensive goat cheese is, if I can get her to eat it's worth every penny!


I served it over linguine noodles (not penne like my ingredients photo shows... I gave hubby the choice and he picked linguine over penne (huh?))

My only regret is that I forgot to pick up some fresh french bread to serve with it... NEXT TIME!! :)


Roasted Red Pepper and Goat Cheese Alfredo


Ingredients



  • 4 whole red bell peppers
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 small or one medium onion, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 4oz herbed goat cheese (can double if desired)
  • 1 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 bag of baby spinach
  • 2 or 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed
  • your choice of pasta, cooked al dente (I like penne or linguine) (I don't like giving measurements of pasta because only you know how much your family will eat)
  • salt and pepper to taste
Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 500ºF, arrange red peppers on a foil lined baking sheet and place in the oven for 20-30 minutes, or until nicely charred. Once done, take out and cover with another foil, let cool.
  2. Turn oven down to 350º and cook your chicken until no longer pink. (15 - 20 minutes maybe?)
  3. Add pasta to a pot of boiling, salted water and cook until al dente.
  4. Put olive oil in your pan and sautee onions and garlic until soft
  5. Add in half and half, goat cheese and salt and pepper. Stir on low heat so the cheese melts.
  6. Take your peppers and peel off the skin and remove stem and seeds. Slice into strips.
  7. Add the peppers and your parmesan cheese to the sauce. 
  8. Optional: Pour sauce into a food processor or use an immersion blender (I did not take this step because I had neither machine, and I loved having the whole pepper strips)
  9. Stir in spinach and chicken and cover for 5 minutes. The spinach should soften and shrivel.
  10. At this point you can either mix the pasta into your sauce, or pour over the pasta on a dish. Whatever your preference.
  11. Optional: Top with more parmesan cheese and serve with crispy bread.


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