My wife and I have recently been reminiscing about our short-lived trip to Italy last March... thanks COVID for cutting it short. The trip started out in Rome then to Naples, Positano, and a few hours in Florence before everything got shut down and we decided to leave.

Since our trip, one of the main dishes we have been enjoying is Carbonara. Admittedly, I have a tendency to make something until we get sick of it. We wanted something different, but yet still Italian. One night I was browsing through Youtube and found a recipe from one of the YouTubers I follow. His channel is called Not Another Cooking Show. This recipe called for three variations of peppers, onion, olive oil, and heavy cream for the sauce. I had to give it a try.

I was so intrigued by this recipe, I made a special order for a jar of peppers on Amazon. The Calabrian peppers pack a decent punch of heat. More so in the oil than the actual pepper itself. These unique peppers kind of reminded me of Thai chili peppers and I have a feeling they will be regularly in my home from here on out.

Credit: Not Another Cooking Show - YouTube
Credit: Not Another Cooking Show - YouTube

Here is what you will need to make this creamy red pepper pasta:

Creamy Red Pepper Sauce Ingredients

  • Two red bell peppers - roasted, skin removed and sliced
  • 5 Calabrian chili peppers - deseeded
  • 1 tablespoon Calabrian pepper oil
  • Three tablespoons olive oil
  • 1-pint heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 cloves of garlic - thin sliced
  • 1 onion - thin sliced
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Pecorino Romano to taste
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste

The recipe calls for Cavatappi pasta. I could not find this specific pasta at King Soopers, so I went with Barilla's Cellentani pasta as it closely resembles Cavatappi.

I will let Not Another Cooking Show lead the way on how to make this pasta dish as he can better explain and visually show you how:

The final dish was wonderful. The flavors of the peppers were subtle yet present. Not Another Cooking Show stated that the sauce was creamy and he was right on the money. We really enjoyed this dish. However, there are a couple of things I could change to better suit our tastes.

First, the sauce has a very onion-forward taste to it. We enjoy onions, but for me, this was almost a little too much onion flavor. This is probably because I used a very large yellow onion. When I make this pasta dish again, because I totally will, I will be sure to use a smaller onion or reduce the amount of onion overall.

Second, add more Calabrian chilis. As stated before, these chilis are great. I feel that the Calabrian chili peppers that I added were a bit small and I was also quite conservative with them as I did not know what heat level to expect for the final dish. Adding three to four more would give the sauce a stronger Calabrian chili pepper taste.

Lastly, to add a bit more depth to the pasta, a protein would be an excellent addition to us Americans. The addition of Guanciale, cured pork jowl, would be delicious. Guanciale is hard to come by in Northern Colorado and I have only been able to find it in one store down in Lakewood at an Italian market. Pancetta would also work quite well and is easily available at most grocery stores.

I do have to say, if you love Italian food, you must try this recipe. It would make for an excellent Sunday dinner for you and your family.

Source: Not Another Cooking Show

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