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Light and creamy pepper sauce pasta recipe

Light and creamy pepper sauce pasta recipe


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  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Pasta
  • Pasta types
  • Tagliatelle

A lighter and spicier version of a classic pasta cream sauce for pasta. This roux-base sauce uses milk instead of cream and is given a spicy 'kick' with hot pepper sauce for a touch of piquant in your pasta. You can make the sauce to serve with any kind of pasta - have fun with it, and buon appetito!

116 people made this

IngredientsServes: 4

  • 225g tagliatelle or fettuccine pasta
  • 65g butter
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons plain flour
  • 475ml milk
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 5 drops hot pepper sauce
  • 40g grated Parmesan cheese

MethodPrep:5min ›Cook:20min ›Ready in:25min

  1. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water.
  2. Meanwhile, melt butter in a saucepan. Stir in flour. Whisk in milk, garlic and pepper hot sauce; stir until thickened. Stir in cheese.
  3. Drain pasta; serve sauce over hot cooked pasta.

Recently viewed

Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(139)

Reviews in English (111)

Easy, effective. Added extra hot pepper sauce .-30 Mar 2016

by KVA1223

To add a little more flavor, you may want to first saute the garlic with red pepper flakes in a tsp of olive oil/butter, then add another tsp of oil and the flour to make the roux mixture. Let this cook for a minute, then add the milk. Stir over a low flame (milk boils over in a second!) and as it thickens up, season with salt, lots of pepper and add some NUTMEG to add that special twist.-21 May 2006

by Tiff

This recipe turned our horrible! I followed the scant directions exactly. The area where my husband and I had trouble was with the sauce. Should you boil it, turn the heat off, let it sit an hour to thicken??? So it became a big soupy mess that even 1.5 cups of parmesan cheese couldn't solve. It was a big soupy mess with 2 cups of liquid in the bowl! I looked up a recipe and it says to use HEAVY CREAM (it'll turn out much thicker, not soupy), and it says what to do with your burners as well. F- is my rating for this recipe.I usually like all recipes but I don't agree with the positive reviews here!!-16 Jan 2006


Easy creamy pepper sauce

How do I like my steak, you ask (ok maybe you didn’t but just humour me..)? Rare to medium rare and covered with sauce, is the answer. I LOVE steak. Juicy, a little charred and *just* cooked. But if there’s not a sauce on my steak, forget about it. I need a little lick of seasoned butter, a reduction of sorts or a creamy sauce to pull it all together for me. And this pepper sauce recipe for steak is just perfect.

The joy about this easy pepper sauce is that it literally takes no more than 20 minutes to make. I don’t add any flour/corn starch to the sauce and allow the sauce to reduce to thicken simply because it’s less faff and makes it gluten free/low carb as well.

How to make pepper sauce:

The key to getting the most “pepperiness” from your peppercorn sauce is to toast the pepper gently with the onion and garlic before adding the cream. Just don’t take a deep whiff because you will sneeze for days (believe me, I learned the hard way).

Fresh thyme, bay and a squeeze of lemon add all the right flavours and you’re done. It’s the kind of sauce I could eat by the spoon, and I do. Often. It’s just SO good!


You have a few options for tomatoes when making this recipe. I recommend high quality canned plum tomatoes in their own juices such as the San Marzano brand. San Marzano tomatoes are Italian plum tomatoes from the San Marzano region in Italy and are known for their delicious and rich flavor. I love using them to make many Italian and other dishes requiring tomatoes. For this particular recipe any brand of canned tomatoes works well. Two 15 oz. can of tomato sauce also work well in lieu of a large 28oz can of tomatoes.

Fresh tomatoes are a wonderful substitute if you don’t have canned ones on hand or if you prefer their fresh flavor which is different than the canned flavor but still quite fabulous! Substitute 1 can of tomatoes with ½ pound fresh Roma (or other) tomatoes. Blanche your tomatoes in boiling water for two minutes then peel, chop and add them in place of the can of crushed tomatoes and proceed with the recipe as noted.


How to Make It

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat drain.

Place 1/2 cup milk in a bowl whisk in flour and miso until smooth. In a saucepan, bring stock and remaining 1 cup milk to a boil over high. Whisk in flour mixture, reduce heat to medium, and simmer until slightly thickened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add pepper.

Heat oil in a skillet over high. Add tomatoes, and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly blistered and beginning to pop, 2 to 3 minutes. Add thyme and garlic cook 1 minute. Add spinach cook, stirring constantly, until wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Add cooked pasta, sauce, and half of cheese to skillet toss to combine. Serve in shallow bowls, and top evenly with remaining cheese.


Creamy Red Pepper Shells

I’m currently taking a break from all the soups right now. At least for just a little bit.

But only because I have something else keeping me nice and cozy during this very cold winter.

That’s right. It’s this cream sauce here, but guys, this is not just any kind of cream sauce.

It’s a red pepper cream sauce! Loaded with crumbled Italian sausage (mild or spicy can be used here), plenty of freshly grated Parmesan and fresh basil leaves.

And you get to use jarred roasted red peppers, cutting the prep time in half, making this a quick 30-minute meal.

Although I should warn you – this may be requested every single night of the week! We’re already on day 4 here.


Recipe Summary

  • 1 pound uncooked farfalle (bow tie pasta)
  • 2 teaspoons extravirgin olive oil
  • ½ cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 (12-ounce) bottle roasted red bell peppers, drained and coarsely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
  • Thinly sliced fresh basil (optional)

Cook the pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, and cook 8 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Add bell peppers cook 2 minutes or until heated through. Increase heat to medium-high. Stir in vinegar cook 1 minute or until liquid evaporates. Remove from heat cool 5 minutes.

Place bell pepper mixture in a blender process until smooth. Return bell pepper mixture to pan cook over low heat until warm. Combine half-and-half and tomato paste in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Stir tomato mixture into bell pepper mixture, stirring with a whisk until well combined. Stir in ground red pepper.

Combine pasta and bell pepper mixture in a large bowl. Add 1/2 cup cheese, tossing to coat. Spoon 1 1/3 cups pasta into each of 6 bowls top each with about 1 1/2 tablespoons cheese. Garnish with basil, if desired.


What is pasta cream sauce?

Pasta cream sauce could be known under many names. Alfredo sauce, parmesan sauce, etc. Those names however, are not something that Italians actually use.

There are many stories on the internet linking an Alfredo sauce recipe to a restaurant in Rome but I am not sure how much of it is true and what is fiction. From what I can gather the famous Alfredo sauce is an American invention and as it is the case with most American recipes it has many unnecessary ingredients.

Garlic, chicken stock, flour, milk. None of them are really needed to make a full flavour cream sauce for any types of pasta.

Authentic Italian Creamy Sauce

I don&rsquot want to build any more suspense than what is already there. Truth is all you need is cream, freshly grated parmesan cheese and salt.

You are probably wondering how could be that good when it&rsquos so simple. I will say it again.

Restaurant Quality Pasta at Home

  • It&rsquos really important to rely on your own instincts when making simple dishes because apart from quality ingredients they also rely on proper cooking techniques.
  • Lucky for you, cooking a delicious pasta dish is not too difficult if you follow a few simple steps.
  • Always buy 100% durum semolina pasta made in Italy. It&rsquos worth your money I promise you.
  • Always salt the water you boil your pasta in. No oil, just salt.
  • Always cook your pasta al dente. (Buying 100% durum semolina pasta makes it easier to achieve since it&rsquos got a bit of a chew.)
  • Always reserve some water the pasta was cooked in to add to the sauce later. The main reason for is because hot pasta absorbs liquid very quickly and greedily.
  • And even though you made enough sauce to serve with your pasta, the minute you combine the two a portion of the sauce gets absorbed, and all of a sudden you&rsquove got dry pasta but what we want is saucy!
  • Here is when your reserved starchy water comes to the rescue and turns your pasta into something silky smooth and lovely.
  • Always dress your hot pasta with a sauce before serving!

This point is actually very important as I often see sauce on the side in people&rsquos homes and blogger&rsquos photos. There is really no good reason for it. All it does is exposes your undressed pasta and makes it dry and flavourless.

Can I use pre-grated Parmesan cheese?

You can but I wouldn&rsquot recommend it.

Once the cheese is grated and packaged, it immediately dries out and starts losing flavour, so you would actually need more of pre-grated cheese to get enough flavour in your sauce.

Buying a small, vacuum sealed piece of Parmesan and grating it yourself before adding to pasta sauces will always result in a more flavourful and creamier dish.

As I&rsquod mentioned, this recipe for pasta cream sauce is basic to which you can add all kinds of things to make it more interesting like this Creamy Tagliatelle with Bacon, Portobello Mushrooms and Truffle Oil.

If you are a fan of tomato sauces as well, check out my Homemade Basil and Tomato Spaghetti Sauce.

What is your favourite? Red Sauce or White Sauce? Let me know in comments.

I love seeing your creations from my website! If you do make one, do tag @vikalinka in your Instagram snaps!


Option & Variation Tasting Notes

I use cashews to help thicken the sauce in this roasted red pepper pasta because, like many of you, we can and do eat tree nuts. I think the cashews pair with the Ripple Half & Half to add creamy depth that is hard to match. But since Ripple Half & Half is a top allergen-free dairy alternative, I wanted to include a delicious nut-free option for all.

For the nut-free option, I kept it really simple by using starch. The end result was delicious and retained that nice, smooth finish. But if you prefer a roux, you can add 2 tablespoons of flour with the garlic and crushed red pepper. Saute everything for a minute or two before adding to the blender to smooth out. Let the sauce bubble as needed to reduce to your desired consistency.

For a slightly cheesy variation, I added a nutritional yeast option. Honestly, we loved it both ways. I did find that the flavor of my roasted red peppers varied between batches, even though I used the exact same brand every time. So sometimes the nutritional yeast helped to balance the flavor, but sometimes it was totally unnecessary.

I use jarred roasted red bell peppers in this recipe for two reasons. One is obviously ease. The second is for seamless depth of flavor. If you opt to roast your own bell peppers, you will want to season the dish quite a bit more. And jarred roasted bell peppers can vary quite a bit in taste. I specifically used the Trader Joe’s 12-ounce roasted red bell peppers. If you choose another brand, you might need to adjust the salt and lemon juice to taste.

For that extra touch of brightness, I add just a teaspoon of an acidic ingredient to this recipe. We liked fresh-squeezed lemon juice best, but balsamic vinegar adds its own unique flavor. It actually melded quite well in a batch I made with nutritional yeast.

No dairy-free half & half? I substitute lite canned coconut milk. In a pinch, you can use dairy-free milk beverage, it will just be a little less creamy.

This post is sponsored by Ripple Foods, the makers of dairy-free high-protein milk beverages, half & half, and new Greek-style yogurts! All of their products are also gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free, vegan, and top allergen-free. The roasted red pepper pasta recipe, idea, photos, and product opinions shared here are all my own.


Pasta alla Norcina (Creamy Pasta With Sausage) Recipe

Why It Works

  • A quick and easy scratch-made sausage captures the flavors of Norcia-style sausage, which is centered around garlic and white wine instead of the fennel seed and dried chiles common in store-bought Italian sausage.
  • Finishing cooking the pasta in the sauce ensures that the noodles are well-coated and al dente.
  • Black pepper and nutmeg give this pasta a hint of warm spice, balanced by savory sausage and Pecorino Romano.

The Umbrian town of Norcia is famous for its pork, and it has a rich tradition of sausage- and salumi-making. So much so that butcher shops all over Italy that specialize in fresh and cured pork products like salami, prosciutti, pancetta, and guanciale are known as "norcinerie." Located at the foot of the Sibylline Mountains, Norcia has the perfect cool and humid climate conditions for meat-curing and, in the fall, truffle hunting. These two local specialties come together in pasta alla norcina: pasta dressed in a rich and creamy sauce studded with juicy sausage, traditionally finished with a showering of shaved black truffles.

Of course, we aren't about to start developing recipes that require expensive fresh truffles (and we don't recommend using synthetic truffle oil). This pasta is excellent without them, and it's commonly served when the tubers aren't in season. In any case, this dish is really about the Norcia-style sausage used in the sauce, and the best way to recreate that flavor is by making the sausage yourself.

Unlike "Italian" sausage commonly available in the States, the salsiccia di Norcia used in pasta alla norcina isn't seasoned with intensely aromatic fennel seed or red pepper flakes. It's a milder sausage, made with garlic, white wine, salt, pepper, and, sometimes, a touch of grated nutmeg. It's cool-weather sausage, not summer cookout links. Now, before anyone gets worked up and turned off by the seemingly daunting project of scratch-made sausage, hold on! We're not asking you to spend days seasoning, grinding, and stuffing meat into casings.

For this recipe, I settled on a shortcut method: you aggressively mix store-bought ground pork with seasonings by hand (or in a stand mixer if you prefer to bust out the heavy machinery) to develop the myosin protein, which binds the meat, giving sausage its characteristic tacky and sticky texture. Pop the mix in the fridge for as little as an hour and up to a couple of days to allow the seasonings to take hold, and then you're cleared for pasta takeoff. If you still aren't convinced about the payoff of scratch-made sausage, this recipe will still work fine with store-bought links, and I've provided instructions for using them as well. I conducted side-by-side tests during recipe development, and while I strongly prefer the homemade sausage version, my tasting panel of one (my wife) enjoyed both iterations.

The cooking process for the dish couldn't be easier. You form the sausage mixture into patties (for easier flipping), brown them on one side in a skillet, flip them over, add chopped onion to the pan, break the sausage up into small pieces and cook until the onion is softened. Deglaze the pan with white wine, add cream, and then simmer it down to a saucy consistency. While that's happening, you cook pasta in boiling water until it's almost done, then add the noodles to the sauce along with a healthy splash of starchy pasta cooking water for a high-heat, glossy, saucy finish. Like other dairy-rich pastas with meaty morsels, you can make this dish with both dried, short, tubular pastas like penne or rigatoni, or with long, fresh, egg-dough pasta like tagliatelle or fettuccine. And because it's so hearty, the twelve ounces of pasta called for in the recipe is more than enough for four servings.

When the pasta comes off the heat, you shower it with Pecorino Romano, freshly ground black pepper, and grated nutmeg. It's meant to be a rich dish, and while it may be tempting to sneak in some brightness with fresh herbs or a splash of acidity, those ingredients would distract from and dull the flavor of the sausage. And, of course, if you're in a celebratory mood or you just happen to have them around (good for you!), you can go all out with a black truffle finishing move. But rest assured you'll be plenty satisfied without them.


How to Make this Recipe

Start by melting butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chopped cauliflower and shallots, season with salt and pepper, then saute until the cauliflower starts to turn golden brown around the edges, about 5 minutes.

Mongolian Beef Noodle Bowls

Turn the heat down to medium then add fresh sweet corn kernels that have been sliced from the cob, minced fresh garlic, plus more salt and pepper, then saute until the sweet corn is slightly tender, another five minutes or so. About this point you might feel faint from the delicious scent wafting around your kitchen!!

Meanwhile, cook gluten free spaghetti (or whatever pasta shape you have on hand) in a large pot of salted boiling water until al dente. Now, this is important: DO NOT DRAIN THE PASTA when it’s done! Rather, carefully use a glass measuring dish or cup to scoop out

2 cups pasta cooking water and set aside. This starch-rich water is what will thicken our sauce.

Next, use tongs to transfer the pasta directly from the cooking pot into the skillet then add chopped fresh basil and a wee squeeze of fresh lemon juice. This pasta dish isn’t supposed to taste lemony, but a small drizzle wakes all the flavors up.

Last step is to add freshly grated parmesan cheese plus some of the reserved pasta cooking water. Stir and toss the pasta with the heat still on medium until a light and silky sauce has formed. Add more pasta cooking water (or parm!) if needed.

Taste and add more salt and/or lemon juice if desired, then swirl onto plates and dig in. I hope you love this yummy, saucy, summery pasta dish – enjoy!