Roasted Red Pepper & Garlic Creste with Basil Pesto & Wild Mushrooms

Roasted Red Pepper & Garlic Creste with Basil Pesto & Wild Mushrooms


Yesterday, my hankering for a good empanada got the best of me, so I went to Peperonata Fresh Pasta and Empanadas to annihilate my craving. There are two things that run through my mind at least 2 or 3 times of every waking minute of the day, and I’m not ashamed to admit it…food and sex, not necessarily in that order.  Naturally, as I waited for my empanadas to make their way from the oven, I began looking at all of the fresh pasta and sauces, maniacally planning dinner.

The artisans at Peperonata Fresh Pasta make their product fresh daily.  Not only do they offer fresh and dried pasta, but an array of sauces, soup, and other gourmet treats.

For those of you that aren’t familiar with “creste pasta,” just imagine if “macaroni noodles” wanted to become “Liberace macaroni noodles,”…viola!, you’ve got creste.

I make a version of this dish at least once a month for my family.  If I want a heartier dish, I’ll use sausage or ham.  This is a great dish to use up leftover veggies in the refrigerator as well.



Roasted Red Pepper Garlic Creste, Basil Pesto, Wild Mushrooms

Serves 4-6

1 Pound, Fresh Creste Pasta

2 tsp., Olive Oil

4 Oz., Pancetta, Fine Dice

Pinch, Red Pepper Flakes

4 Oz., Mixed Wild Mushrooms, Sliced

Pinch, Kosher Salt

Pinch, Freshly Ground Black Pepper

12 Each, Grape Tomatoes, Halved

1/4 Cup, English Peas, Shelled and Blanched

7 Oz., Basil Pesto

2 tsp., Lemon Infused Olive Oil

1/2 Each, Lemon, Juiced

4 Cups, Arugula

1 tsp., White Truffle Oil

Pinch, Kosher Salt

Pinch, Black Pepper

As Needed, Shaved Parmigiano Reggiano


  • Bring a large pot of seasoned water to a boil (the water should taste like the sea), add the pasta
  • Heat a large saute pan, and add the olive oil
  • Brown the pancetta, remove once brown, but keep the rendered fat in the pan
  • Add the mushrooms, and allow them to “bronze,” by cooking all of the moisture out of them, and allowing them to gain a beautiful color
  • Add the tomatoes, peas, pesto, lemon olive oil and lemon juice, bring to a simmer
  • Add the pasta (making sure that it is al dente), and toss.  Season to taste with salt and pepper
  • In a mixing bowl, combine the arugula, white truffle oil, salt and pepper, mix well
  • To plate, pile the pasta in a dish.  Top with the arugula mixture, stacking as high as possible
  • Finish with the shaved cheese.

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