red peppers from a jar never tasted so good as when
doctored with some herbs and melted cheese.
just slid the umpteenth batch of cookies into the oven. Or
you’ve been grocery shopping all day for that big
Thanksgiving meal. Or you’ve been cleaning the house,
wrapping presents, writing Christmas cards.
your holiday prep tasks, you’ve had it and you just can’t
face making dinner. But before you reach for the phone to
dial up a pizza, consider the pantry. You probably have a
lot in there that you can throw together for a quick meal.
pasta. In the 10 minutes it takes for the water to boil, you
could turn a jar of roasted red peppers and some staples
into a lush treat. No roasted peppers? How about artichoke
dip? Or eggplant dip? Dig around; you may find something
follow this model, which is blissfully free of chopping, the
bane of many a cook. (OK, it requires just a little
slicing). To make the peppers saucy and creamy, reach for a
little dairy. You may not have mascarpone in the fridge, but
I’ll bet you have cream cheese or a melty cheese like
brie. Start with a few tablespoons and add as much as you
like. Some hot, starchy pasta water will help smooth the
kick back and enjoy dinner, before untangling the Christmas
tablespoons olive oil
(12 ounces) roasted red bell peppers, drained, rinsed,
sliced in strips
cream, a melty cheese, mascarpone or cream cheese
herbs, torn, or dried, such as thyme or basil
Heat a large pot of well-salted water to a boil over high
heat; add the spaghetti. Cook until al dente, 8-10 minutes.
Drain, saving about 1/4 cup of the cooking water.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium
heat. Smash the garlic with the side of a chef’s knife;
peel and add it to the pan. Cook, 1 minute. Stir in the
peppers; cook to heat through, 3-5 minutes.
Turn heat to low; stir in your dairy component. If using
cheese, add some pasta water to help it melt. If using
cream, let it reduce a little. Sprinkle on capers and herbs,
if you have them. Stir the cooked, drained spaghetti into
the skillet to coat strands with the sauce. Remove the
garlic clove and serve.