I know I say this a lot but this recipe is like really really really good - it makes two bowls of pasta and I struggle to NOT eat the second bowl.
Note: I boil the pasta in a non traditional way, I was having fun with it. You can make pasta in the regular just boil salted water kinda way but always fun to try new things!!
2 servings of pasta (something that holds sauce well)
2 red bell peppers
1/2 of a medium yellow onion
3 garlic cloves (paper on)
1/2 of a lemon
chicken broth (approx 1 cup, maybe more)
salt / pepper / olive oil
1 teaspoon honey
red pepper flakes (as many as you can handle ;)
1/4 cup manchego cheese (or parmesan but I like manchego)
1/3 cup almond milk or regular milk
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves OR 1 tablespoon basil pesto
1 tablespoon flour / corn starch / arrowroot powder (optional as a thickening agent)
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
Cut your bell peppers like you would an apple, removing any veins leftover on the sides. Place them inside up on your baking sheet. Cut your onion & shallot into chunks (you can leave them pretty large like an inch) - add these to your baking sheet as well. Separate your garlic cloves but leave the paper skin on. Drizzle everything with olive oil (or avocado oil) then place your 1/2 lemon cut side down and bake for 15 minutes at 400.
Remove the onion/ garlic from your baking sheet. Flip the red pepper so that skin side is up and flip your lemon so peel side is down. Bake for another 15 minutes.
Add the onion / shallot to the pot you're going to use to make pasta. Remove the peel from your garlic and at it to the pot as well. Sauté over medium heat - when it starts to form a layor of color on the bottom, add a splash of chicken broth. After about 8 minutes, when the onions are translucent, add it all to a blender.
Add your pasta to that same pot (don't clean it) - no water, and toast the pasta lightly on medium low heat for 5 minutes, stirring so nothing burns. Add enough chicken broth to cover the pasta, let it soak in, repeat that step, let it soak in and then add two cups of water. Bring to a boil and let the pasta finish cooking until al dente. Save 1/4 cup of pasta water, drain and cover the pasta.
When the bell peppers are done, broil on low for 3 minutes, remove from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes until they've cooled enough that you can remove the skin (it'll be papery) without burning your fingers - trust me, ouch. Add the naked peppers + 1/4 cup of pasta water + 1 teaspoon of honey + a pinch of salt to the blender and blend everything! Until it appears very smooth.
Over medium low heat, add the red pepper sauce to the pasta and stir to combine.
Bring the sauce to a low simmer, add the almond milk + nutmeg + red pepper flakes + a squeeze of lemon juice. Stir that in and keep it at a low simmer. Next add in the cheese, I like to freshly shred it into the sauce - stir until it's melted in. Let it simmer for at least 5 minutes. Pay attention and stir occasionally. If your sauce is too soupy, add a tablespoon of flour or cornstarch or arrow root powder as a thickening agent.
Once the sauce is at your desired thickness, stir in chopped basil + extra pepper if you want it! Split into two bowls and enjoy :)