Penne pasta with peppers
Penne pasta with peppers
 

Pasta with peppers is a typical summer dish from Southern Italy.

Colourful and delicious, it's a tasty way to introduce more vegetables in the diet - and it's a hit with children. This recipe is my aunt's. We used to eat this in her garden, in the shadow of lemon trees, listening to the song of cicadas. Eaten with a glass of icy rosè, this dish spells summer holiday.

Ingredients for 4 portions:

  • 400 gr penne
  • 550gr sweet peppers (red and yellow)
  • 200ml canned tomatoes (chopped or passata)
  • 1 large onion
  • 8 anchovies
  • 1 tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil
  • A few basil leaves
  • A handful of parsley leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

1. Wash the peppers under running water, dry them with a towel, cut them open andremove the seeds and the white fibres from inside. Cut them into strips 1 cm thick.

2. Roughly chop the anchovies, set them aside, and finely chop the onions.

3. In a large pan, heat a tbsp. of olive oil, add the chopped onion and cook it at very low heat until tender and traslucent (about 10 minutes). Add the chopped anchovies ans stir well until the anchovies start to melt.

4. Add the peppers strips. Let cook for 15 minutes, at very low heat, stirring every now and then. Season to taste; cover the pan with a lid and let cook for other 15 minutes, always at very low heat.

5. Add the canned tomato, raise the cooking temperature to medium, and cook for other 10 minutes. It will be ready when the tomato has become thick and creamy.

6. Chop the parsley, roughly cut the basil and add them to the sauce. Mix thoroughly and season some more if required.

7. Meanwhile boil a pot of salted water (roughly 1 tsp. of salt for ever litre of water). Add the pasta and cook according to the instructions. One minute before the reccomended cooking time, drain it and add to the pan with the peppers, and sautee for a couple of minutes, mixing thoroughly.

8. Serve immediately with a few basil leaves for decoration.

Note: this dish is usually served without parmesan cheese, as fish is used to flavour it. In Italy, to mix cheese and fish is frowned upon. Consume with a dry, smooth rose wine, such as Alezio Rosato.