2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup thinly sliced roasted sweet red peppers
Salt and freshly ground pepper 4 large basil leaves, cut in slivers (chiffonade) (optional)
3 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
3/4 pound pasta, any shape
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large, heavy skillet. Add the garlic. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the sliced roasted peppers, and stir together for about a minute until well infused with the oil and garlic. Season with salt and pepper, and stir in the basil (if using) and goat cheese. Remove from the heat.
2. When the water comes to a boil, salt generously and add the pasta. Cook until al dente — firm to the bite — following the recommendations on the package. Ladle about 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water into the frying pan, and stir well so that the goat cheese begins to melt. Drain the pasta, and toss immediately with the pepper mixture in the pan. Serve.
Yield: Serves four. Advance preparation: You can make this through Step 1 several hours before you wish to serve it. Add the basil and cheese only when you reheat it.