So the other day I had to use two bell peppers that were in my fridge. All of us at home wanted to eat some pasta so I thought of combining the peppers with some spaghetti. But it had to be interesting too. So I charred one each of red and yellow bell peppers on my gas stove, along with two tomatoes. I removed the seeds and the char and blended it all to a bright paste with salt. I started cooking the pasta in lots of salt and water by this time. I then put some olive oil and butter in a pan in very low heat, added lots of garlic and allowed it to cook together. The garlic released its oils into the butter and EVOO, filling my kitchen with an appetising aroma. I then added the blended roasted bell peppers and tomato sauce and cooked it on low flame will oil started to accumulate on the sides. And in went the al dente pasta, along with salted pasta water (the secret weapon to any great pasta).
For this recipe, I didn’t have any fancy cheese or fresh herbs, so I added whatever I had – Amul cheese blocks grated on top and dried herbs (it was the second week of Lockdown). Chilli flakes is a must! Well, all I can say is we licked everything off our plates and the effort was worth it. I hope you try this recipe to see what I’m talking about. Also, special thanks to the husband who has been helping me with all the pictures. Be prepared to see some of me in the coming days 😀
Here’s the recipe:
Preparation time – 30 minutes
Cook time – 30 minutes
Serves – 4
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 yellow bell pepper
- 3 medium sized tomatoes
- 300 g spaghetti
- Salt to taste
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 20 g butter (1 1/2 tbsp approx)
- 8-10 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp dried basil/fresh Italian basil leaves
- 1 tbsp dried Oregano
- 2 tsp chili flakes
- 1 tbsp black pepper powder
- Fresh herbs, if any (basil/cilantro)
- Grated cheese
- Wash the bell peppers tomatoes and pat them dry with a kitchen towel or cloth. Rub oil on them. Char them directly on fire till they blacken. Let them cool down.
- Once cooled down, remove the blackened parts of the bell peppers and tomatoes. Don’t worry if a few tidbits are left. De seed the bell peppers and roughly chop them with a knife. Do the same with the tomatoes.
- Blend all the vegetables together to a fine and thick paste.
- Heat water in a wide mouthed pot. Allow it to boil. Add enough salt to it so that it tastes saline.
- Cook the spaghetti in this pot as per package instructions till al dente. Reserve some of this hot and starchy pasta water for later use.
- While the pasta is cooking, start the sauce simultaneously. Heat olive oil and butter in a skillet on very low heat. Add the thinly sliced garlic and let it cook slowly. Let the garlic release its aroma and juices into the oil.
- Once the butter starts to brown and the flavour of the garlic is assimilated into the oil, add the blended bell pepper and tomato puree. Stir on high heat for two to three minutes.
- Season with dried basil, oregano, salt, black pepper powder and chilli flakes. Mix well.
- Cover and cook on low flame for seven to eight minutes till the oil starts to release from the sides.
- Add the cooked spaghetti into the sauce along with a ladle or two of reserved pasta water. Mix well on low flame till it all comes together. Add more starchy water if required. It helps keep the noodles soft and glazy.
- Garnish with any fresh herbs of choice like basil, parsley or cilantro.
- Garnish with grated Parmesan cheese (or cheddar if you’re out of Parmesan)
I hope you try this delicious roasted bell pepper pasta super soon! If you have any doubts, comments, or feedback, please reach out to me in comments or my social media handles.
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