The March 2012 issue of Family Circle featured a recipe called “Rigatoni with creamy pepper sauce.” It looked so good that I decided to try the following variation with some ingredients I had on hand.
1 large sweet red pepper
1 or 2 yellow squash, sliced in half or fourths lengthwise
1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2/3 cup heavy cream
1 cup shredded Swiss or parmesan cheese (or mix)
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 pound rigatoni
1/3 mozzarella ball, divided into 4 or 5 smaller balls
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, sliced in thin strips
5-6 grape tomatoes
1. Heat broiler. Line a large broiler pan with foil and coat with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Place pepper on prepared pan, cut side down; add squash. Broil for 9-10 minutes, about 4 inches from heat source. Turn oven to 350 degrees. Remove pepper and squash from heat and set squash aside, slicing into wedges when cool. Place the pepper in a paper bag or covered bowl for 5 minutes. Peel skin off peppers and discard; thinly slice peppers.
3. In a large nonstick skillet bring broth to a simmer; add garlic and simmer 2 minutes. Stir in cream, salt and pepper and cheese and simmer for an additional 2 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, cook pasta following the package directions, about 10 to 14 minutes for al dente. Drain and return to pot.
5. Butter a medium-sized casserole and add cooked pasta. Add cream mixture and sliced peppers, squash, tomatoes and mozzarella balls; stir gently to combine. Sprinkle with basil and parmesan.
6. Bake uncovered at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until bubbly and slightly browned on top.