Saturday, 16 February 2013

Pasta with peppers

I'm almost embarrassed to call this a recipe as there are basically only two ingredients, pasta and peppers, and the method is laughably simple, requiring no more than a bit of chopping and some stirring. From this, you may think that it's not really worth it - I mean how tasty can it be if there's so little involvement in the making of it? However, that would be a great mistake because this dish is utterly delicious. Cooked slowly, the peppers begin to caramelise in the olive oil, becoming soft and sweet, completely transformed from their raw, indigestible state. The juice they give off combines with the oil to turn into a sauce which then coats the pasta. All in all, I think it's close to pasta perfection. If you like peppers, I urge you to try this.

As this month's theme is peppers, I'm very pleased to be able to join in with the Pasta Please challenge, started by Jac over at the amazing Tinned Tomatoes and hosted this month by Lisa from We don't eat anything with a face. I'm really looking forward to seeing what other people have come up with this month.

RECIPE - serves 3-4
  • 350g long pasta - bucatini (thick spaghetti-like pasta with a hole running through it) is ideal here but failing that you can use linguine (as I have for the photo) or even spaghetti
  • 6 peppers (if you can get different colours, it makes for a more visually pleasing dish; red, yellow and orange are better for flavour but you can use a small green one too if you must but remember that they don't match up to the others for taste)
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • lots of fresh parmesan to serve
Wash the peppers and deseed. Roughly slice them up. In a large frying pan (with a lid), pour in enough olive oil to just coat the bottom. Put over a medium heat and add the peppers, turning them in the oil. Cover and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring frequently.

After 15 minutes, remove the lid and continue cooking uncovered for a further 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. The peppers are ready when they are soft and just beginning to brown at the edges. At this stage, season to taste.

Cook the pasta according to instructions, making sure you've salted the water well - it really does make all the difference. Near the end of the cooking, take a ladleful of the pasta cooking water and add to the peppers. When the pasta is al dente, drain well and mix with the peppers. Drizzle over a little more olive oil if you think it needs it and serve with lots of freshly grated parmesan.