We had the best time catching up, sipping our wine and prepping dinner. I have missed whipping up kitchen magic with this girl just like we did nearly every night in our cozy little apartment home together for two and a half years. This pasta dish we enjoyed together was so easy and simple. Now is the time to get fresh peppers and who doesn't love pasta swimming in creamy dreamy goat cheese? This recipe comes from Mario Batali and calls for Orchiette but Ashley made it with bowties and it was delicious! Ashley cracked open a bottle of wine that was surprisingly sweet for a red zinfandel but it was so tasty and we drank every last drop! Definitely one of the most random wine labels we had ever seen. As soon as we find out what it was, I will post it immediately- DELICOIOUS! Side note on this wine- for all of you cork collectors, don't expect this funky label to come with a crazy cork...it's completely plain! To go with our dinner, I popped over to Trader Joe's and picked up ingredients for a salad inspired by my favorite Charlotte restaurant. The arugula, kalamata olives and feta tossed with lemon, olive oil, cracked pepper and salt was the perfect accompaniment to this delicious dish. In my excitement with eating, I forgot to snap a picture but I have posted Nina and Ashley masterpieces before so you should have no doubt that what was on our plates was as delectable as it looked!
Orchiette with Sweet Peppers & Goat Cheese
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into thin strips
- 1 yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into thin strips
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 pound orecchiette
- 4 ounces goat cheese
To make the peperonata: In a 12- to 14-inch sauté pan, heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil over high heat until almost smoking. Add the red and yellow peppers and sauté over high heat for 4 minutes until browned at the edges and softened. Add the sherry vinegar, salt, and pepper, reduce the heat to medium, and continue to cook for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the peppers are tender. Adjust the seasonings and set aside to cool. Place pepper mixture into a food processor and finely chop. With the motor running, drizzle in oil until you've reached a smooth consistency. Transfer mixture into a large bowl. Cook the pasta until tender yet al dente, about 6 to 8 minutes. Drain the pasta well and add to the sweet pepper puree. Add goat cheese to the pasta and toss for about 2 minutes and then pour into a warm serving bowl.