This pasta dish was inspired by a dish on the menu of my favorite trattoria in Amsterdam: Lo Stivale d’Oro. They have “tagliatelle alla pugliese” on the menu, which is tagliatelle with peppers, salami and tomato sauce. (I have never seen this dish in Puglia, so my guess is that it is called pugliese because they use hot salami from Puglia.) I like it better with penne and prefer to use a type of salami that is not as hot. The taste of the dish is determined to a great extent by the salami used. I prefer to use a good quality Italian salami like sopressa or finocchiona (with fennel seeds).
For 2 servings
150-200 grams (1/3-1/2 pound) penne rigate
1 red pepper (capsicum)
1 yellow pepper (capsicum)
300 ml (1 1/4 cup) sieved tomatoes (passata)
100 grams (1/4 pound) good quality Italian salami such as finocchiona or sopressa, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp chopped flatleaf parsley
freshly grated parmigiano reggiano
salt and freshly ground black pepper
extra virgin olive oil
optional: 1 glass (100 ml) dry red wine
Clean the peppers and cut into strips about the size of the penne. Heat some olive oil in a frying pan over high heat and add the peppers. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Sauté for a minute or so until the peppers are coated with the oil.
Cover the pan and lower the heat. Let braise for 10 minutes or so until the peppers are tender but still firm to the bite, stirring now and then.
Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a boil for the pasta.
Remove the cover. Add the red wine (optional) and stir until most of the liquid has evaporated.
Add the sieved tomatoes and let simmer until the sauce has a nice thick consistency, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook the penne al dente according to package instructions and cut the salami into strips of about 2 cm (1 inch).
Add the salami to the sauce for the final minute of cooking and stir well.
Drain the pasta and add it to the sauce, together with freshly grated parmigiano reggiano and most of the chopped parsley. Toss to mix.
Serve on preheated plates, sprinkled with some more parmigiano and the remaining parsley.
Because of the tomatoes and the salami, this pairs well with a fruity Italian sangiovese such as a medium-bodied Chianti or even Italian rosé made from sangiovese (especially in summer).