Roasted Red Pepper Alla Vodka Pasta with Cheesy Oregano Breadcrumbs.
Not your average alla vodka pasta. Fire-roasted red peppers with fresh herbs, shallots, and garlic, all pureed into a creamy tomato vodka sauce that’s vibrant and so delicious!
1. Heat a large, high sided skillet over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, breadcrumbs, and 1 tablespoon oregano, and cook, stirring occasionally until the breadcrumbs are toasted all over, about 3 minutes. Add the cheese and cook another 2 minutes, until fried. Remove the breadcrumbs from the skillet. Season with salt and pepper. Set the crumbs aside.2. Add the red peppers to a food processor. Puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions until al dente. Just before draining, remove 1 1/2 cups of the pasta cooking water. Drain.4. Meanwhile, place the skillet over high heat along with 4 tablespoons olive oil. When the oil shimmers, add the sliced red bell pepper, shallots, garlic, fennel seeds, 1 tablespoon oregano, and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Cook until the shallots begin to caramelize, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, add the tomato paste and vinegar, cook 2 minutes. Stir in the roasted red pepper puree, vodka, 1 cup pasta cooking water, milk, and butter. Simmer for 15-30 minutes or until the sauce thickens slightly. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.5. Add the pasta and basil, tossing to combine. If needed, thin the sauce with additional pasta cooking water.6. Divide the pasta among plates and top with breadcrumbs and additional cheese. Enjoy!
To Replace the Vodka: use an equal amount of chicken or vegetable broth.
To Make Ahead: prepare the alla vodka sauce through step 4. You can simmer the sauce on low for up to 2 hours, adding additional water if the sauce thickens too much. The sauce can be made 4 days ahead of time and chilled in the fridge. To serve, warm on the stove, then boil the pasta and toss with the sauce just before serving.
To Freeze: the alla vodka sauce can be made, then frozen in a freezer safe container for up to 3 months. Thaw, then use as directed.
Breadcrumbs: will keep in a sealed container at room temperature for up to 1 week.