A simple and healthy dish with a delicious flavor: pasta with roasted peppers. The other flavors (basil, anchovies, garlic, chilli pepper) are only used to support and enhance the flavor of roasted peppers.
For 2 servings
150-200 grams (1/3-1/2 pound) of fusilli or other short pasta such as rigatoni
2 red peppers
500 grams (1 pound) plum tomatoes
3 anchovy fillets, minced (optional)
1 clove garlic, minced
dried chilli pepper
6 leaves basil
Preheat the oven to 250C/480F.
Brush the red peppers lightly with olive oil. This helps to cook the skin at a higher temperature, making it easier to remove later.
Roast the peppers for 20-25 minutes in a hot oven (250C/480F) until some black spots appear on the skin. (It is a good idea to keep a baking sheet underneath to catch the juices that will drip from the peppers.)
Let the peppers cool. They will collapse and the skin will become very wrinkly.
It should now be quite easy to remove the skin, but this depends on the type and ripeness of the peppers.
Bring a pot of water to a boil (use the same pot that you will use to cook the pasta later). Fill your sink or a bowl with cold water. With a sharp knife, cut a cross in the end of each tomato.
When the water boils, put in the tomatoes for 10-30 seconds until you see the skin coming off.
Take the tomatoes out of the pot with a slotted spoon and cool them in the cold water.
Take off the skins.
Cut each tomato in half crosswise and take out the seeds with your fingers (or a small spoon, but fingers is easier).
Cut the tough part out where the tomato was attached to the plant and discard.
Chop tomatoes roughly.
Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add minced garlic and sauté for a minute. Lower the heat before the garlic starts to color. Add the minced anchovies and sauté for another minute.
(Leave out the anchovies if you would like to keep it vegan.)
Add the tomatoes and a bit of salt. Increase the heat to high. Stir over high heat until the tomatoes start to release their juices and start to look like a ‘sauce’.
Meanwhile, chop the red peppers.
Add the peppers to the tomatoes. Add dried chilli pepper (finely crumbled or ground). Stir to mix and lower the heat to a simmer. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
Bring the pot with water back to a boil. Add salt and the pasta. Cook the pasta al dente according to the timing indicated on the package.
Drain the pasta as soon as it’s done. Add to peppers and tomatoes mixture with the basil leaves (torn into pieces by hand). Toss to mix until the fusilli have absorbed some of the sauce.
Serve on preheated plates. This type of pasta sauce is not usually eaten with grated cheese, but if you do like cheese I would recommend pecorino romano rather than parmigiano.
This dish pairs well with a dry rosé or a very light red wine. We loved it with a Sancerre rosé.