Pasta, Bell Peppers, and Asparagus in a Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce

Penne Pasta, Bell Peppers, and Asparagus in a Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce, with basil and crushed red pepper. This Italian-style pasta dinner is easy to make, full of flavor and just pure comfort food. It’s so easy to make – perfect for busy week nights!
What I personally love about this dish is that it’s a great way to use asparagus differently than just as a good old side dish. In this recipe, asparagus and bell peppers are seared in the skillet and then mixed in with the creamy sauce, spices, and pasta. The vegetables taste so good with all the spices, pasta, and the flavorful creamy sauce in this dish! It’s really a winner!




Ingredients
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 small jar (3-4 oz) sun-dried tomatoes in oil, or use 3-4 oz fat-free sun dried tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons oil from the sun-dried tomatoes jar (or vegetable oil)
  • 7-10 sprigs of asparagus
  • 1 red bell pepper, cleaned and thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, cleaned and thinly sliced
  • 8 oz penne pasta (for gluten free, use Tinkyada gluten free brown rice pasta)
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon basil (if using dry basil), if using fresh basil you can add more
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (at least, add more to taste)
  • 1/2 cup reserved cooked pasta water (or more)
  • salt, to taste
Instructions
  1. Note: if using sun-dried tomatoes in oil (in a jar), make sure to drain sun-dried tomatoes from oil, before using them. Reserve 2 tablespoons of this drained oil for sauteing as described below:
  2. In a large pan, on high heat, sautee garlic and sun-dried tomatoes (drained from oil) in 2 tablespoons of oil (reserved from the sun-dried tomatoes jar - see note above) for 1 minute until garlic is fragrant. Add the rest of vegetables (asparagus, each sprig cut into 3 slices, and thinly sliced bell peppers), sprinkle with a small amount of salt, and cook on medium heat for 2-3 minutes until they soften just a little (you still want them to have a bit of crunch).
  3. Bring a large pan with water to boil and cook pasta according to package instructions. Reserve some cooked pasta water. Drain and rinse the pasta with cold water (to stop cooking).
You can find complete recipes of this Pasta, Bell Peppers, and Asparagus in a Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce in juliasalbum.com
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