(Always read the recipe twice, assemble, and prepare your ingredients before you begin to cook)  

1 lb. pasta (penne or rigatoni work well or any short pasta)

1 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. butter
3 cloves minced garlic
½ large onion, finely diced
16 oz. jar roasted red peppers, drained and coarsely chopped
1 cup chicken broth
½ tsp. salt and ground black pepper to taste
¼ cup heavy cream
2 tbsp. fresh minced parsley + more for serving
1 tbsp. fresh chopped basil + more for serving
½ cup Parmesan cheese (grated or shaved) + more for serving

  • To a large pot of boiling water, add a little salt and cook the pasta according to package directions


  • Add the oil and butter to a large skillet over medium-high heat
  • When the butter is melted, add the garlic and onions
  • Sauté the mixture until it starts to soften – 2-3 minutes
  • Add the drained and chopped red peppers and cook 2-3 minutes until hot
  • Very carefully transfer the hot mixture to a food processor or blender – best to use a large soup ladle  (since the mixture is in a skillet, you don’t want to use an immersion blender in the skillet as it’s too shallow!)
  • Put the lid on the machine of your choice and puree the mixture until it’s totally blended – however, there will be some texture to the peppers
  • Carefully pour the pureed mixture back into the skillet
  • Add the broth, ½ tsp. salt and some pepper to taste
  • Stir until heated through
  • Splash in the heavy cream and stir gently to combine
  • Add the 2 tbsp. fresh minced parsley and the 1 tbsp. fresh chopped basil and stir
  • Taste and adjust your seasonings if necessary

  • Drain the cooked pasta and add it to the skillet
  • Add the Parmesan cheese and stir into the pasta
  • Serve in bowls, sprinkle with the extra Parmesan cheese, parsley, and/or basil on top
  • Serve with garlic bread and a mixed green salad
  • Serves 4 – 6


  • tsp. means a teaspoon and tbsp. means tablespoon – always use a measuring spoon not a piece of silverware/and always use a measuring cup, not a coffee or tea cup!
  • If you don’t have heavy cream on hand or don’t want to buy it for just a small amount needed in a recipe, make a heavy cream substitute. The following 2-ingredient recipe makes 1 cup:
    • Gently melt 1/3 cup of butter either on the stove or in a microwave
    • Pour the melted butter into ¾ cup of whole or 2% milk and gently stir with a whisk
    • Use in your recipe but note that you cannot whip this mixture to make whip cream as you would with regular heavy cream
    • Adjust proportions accordingly to what you need – refer to sites like this to make conversions easy https://www.tablespoon.com/posts/tablespoon-conversions

If you’d like to be a guest contributor to The Jefferson Chronicle’s Wooden Spoon, please email your recipe clearly noting all ingredients, measurements, and understandable directions to Carol.Punturieri@thejeffersonchronicle.com and type “The Wooden Spoon” in the Subject line.  Be sure to include your name, address, and a telephone number in the event we need to clarify any information

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Carol was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York and moved to Jefferson Township with her husband in 1976. She initially joined the Garden Club of Milton, eventually serving as President. She was a co-founder of the ABC Mothers Group, active in the local PTAs, Girl Scouts, and Cub Scouts. She worked for AIM Newspapers as a reporter and eventually became its Editor. Currently, she is President of the Jefferson Arts Committee and the Recreation Program Coordinator in the Jefferson Township Recreation Department. She can be reached at carol.punturieri@thejeffersonchronicle.com.