Some flavors and ingredients just inherently go together, and in my humble opinion, roasted red peppers and goat cheese are one of them. I've been making this pasta for the past two years, and I'm sorry to say that I'm only now sharing it with you.
The sauce is a simple roasted red pepper sauce, with the addition of some cheese, shallots, herbs, and a little lemon. A pinch of red pepper flakes give it just a hint of spice, and the luxurious and vibrant sauce coats the pasta beautifully. A mixture of goat and ricotta cheeses dot the top of the baked pasta dish, and the creamy cheese with the bold sauce just work. I always add a little shredded chicken for some extra protein, but this is great as a vegetarian meal as well.
This baked pasta dish is super easy to prep, and is perfect for serving to guests. Something about this dish seems just so "springtime" to me, so that's when I make it the most. Therefore, I of course always serve it with simple roasted asparagus, and a light white wine.
Roasted Red Peppers + Goat Cheese = True Love Forever.
Baked Penne with Roasted Red Peppers and Goat Cheese
adapted from Pasta Revolution
- 8 oz (2 1/2 cups) dried penne pasta
- kosher salt and black pepper
- 4 oz (1/2 cup) ricotta cheese
- 4 oz goat cheese, softened
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 6 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
- 3 cups roasted red peppers, patted dry and chopped coarse (3-4 peppers)
- 2 oz Parmesan cheese, grated (1 cup)
- 1/3 cup fresh parsley leaves
- 1 shallot, chopped
- 2 tsp minced fresh thyme
- 1 Tbs fresh basil, plus more for serving
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- pinch of red pepper flakes
- 2 cups shredded cooked chicken
Heat the oven to 450 degrees and lightly grease an 8-inch square baking dish.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, season with 1 tablespoon of salt, and add the pasta. Cook until it is just shy of al dente, 8 to 9 minutes. Drain the pasta and return to the pot.
Meanwhile, mix the ricotta, goat cheese, lemon zest, 1 tablespoon of oil, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper in a medium bowl. Set aside.
In a food processor, combine the peppers, Parmesan, remaining 5 tablespoons of oil, parsley, shallot, thyme, garlic, basil, lemon juice, and roasted red paper flaws, Season with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Puree until smooth, about 30 seconds, scraping down the sides of the bowl if necessary. Taste and season with additional salt and paper as needed.
Add the sauce to the pot with the pasta, and stir in the chicken. Mix well to combine. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish, and drop dollops of the cheese mixture over the top.
Bake until bubbly and browning, about 15 minutes. Allow to cool 10 to 15 minutes, sprinkle additional basil over the top, and serve.