Penne ai peperoni e alici (Penne with Peppers and Anchovies)

Frankpasta, primi piatti5 Comments

A quick note on a quick dish: penne with peppers and anchovies, something I made up, on the spur of the moment, to use some of the red bell peppers in the fridge before they went off. I decided to riff off the classic roasted peppers and anchovy antipasto and pair it with pasta. The results of my experiment were pretty tasty, so here’s the recipe:

Stew some sliced red bell pepper (one per person) in olive oil over medium heat until soft. (You can cover the pan and add a spoonful of water from time to time to help the softening process along.) Then turn the pepper slices in a food processor and pulse a few times until they are nicely minced but have not been reduced to a puree. Return to the pan.

Add a battuto of garlic, parsley, a handful of capers and a few anchovy fillets to the minced pepper in the pan and continue cooking over low heat for a minute or two more. The mixture should glisten beautifully. If not, add a bit more olive oil. (Turn off the heat if need be until the pasta is done.)

In the meantime, you will have cooked some penne (or other pasta of your choice) in well salted water until very al dente. Transfer the cooked pasta to the pan along with a ladleful of the pasta water and, over low heat, mix well until the pasta is well coated with the sauce and any excess water has evaporated. Serve immediately.

NOTE: You could, of course, use roasted peppers for this dish. It might give it an even deeper flavor. But this dish, quickly made with fresh peppers, was perfectly lovely.

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