No matter the weather, it’s impossible not to daydream about a bubbly, soul-warming pasta dish. Well, folks, that dream is now a reality. This delicious dish has curly cavatappi and tender strips of roasted bell pepper cloaked in a creamy tomato-basil sauce. It’s topped off with fresh mozzarella and panko breadcrumbs before being broiled to gooey, golden-brown perfection. Yep, this one-pan wonder is guaranteed to satisfy all carby cravings. (We’re all about making dreams come true.)
Produced in a facility that processes milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soybean.
Red Bell Pepper
• Adjust rack to top position and preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Wash and dry all produce. • Halve bell pepper lengthwise; remove stem and seeds. Pick basil leaves from stems; roughly chop or tear leaves. Tear mozzarella into bite-size pieces.
• Toss bell pepper halves on a baking sheet with a drizzle of olive oil each; season with salt and pepper. Arrange cut sides down. Roast on top rack until softened and lightly charred, 20-25 minutes. • Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Transfer to a cutting board, then thinly slice. • Heat broiler to high.
• While bell pepper roasts, add 1 TBSP butter to a small microwave-safe bowl; microwave until just melted, 30 seconds. Stir in panko and salt. • 4 SERVINGS: Use 2 TBSP butter.
• Once water is boiling, add cavatappi to pot. Cook until al dente, 9-11 minutes. Drain and set aside.
• While pasta cooks, heat a large, preferably ovenproof, pan over medium-high heat. Add marinara, ½ cup water, half the chopped basil, a pinch of chili flakes, and a big pinch of salt; stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium. Simmer until slightly thickened, 3-5 minutes. • Turn off heat and stir in cream cheese until melted. Season with salt and pepper.
• Stir sliced bell pepper and cavatappi into sauce. If needed, add more water a splash at a time until pasta is thoroughly coated in sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with mozzarella and panko. • Broil on top rack until cheese has melted and panko is golden brown, 2-4 minutes. • Sprinkle with remaining chopped basil and more chili flakes if desired. Divide between plates and serve. • TIP: If your pan isn’t ovenproof, transfer mixture to a baking dish before sprinkling with mozzarella and panko. When broiling, watch carefully to avoid burning.