I like pasta with bell peppers as it seems unusual. I don’t expect bell peppers to show up in my pasta. But it works and makes a super light pasta too. The only fat in this recipe is olive oil, plus the pine nuts that I added at the end. But you could do without the nuts. There is no cream or butter or cheese or meat. It’s a pure veggie pasta dish. Or, er, well a pure fruit pasta dish. Peppers, including bell peppers, are fruits.
I must also admit that I am still tweaking this recipe. I have not mastered pasta with bell peppers but I have made perfectly enjoyable dinners with it. Here is a similar recipe that uses the same approach with different flavors.
I also love the technique of blistering the peppers in the oven and then peeling off the skins and blending the peppers to make a sauce. This step I always keep. I’m just shifting flavors around at this point. Bell peppers are sweet and require some special attention. I also like the pine nuts in this recipe but not the way they look on top of the pasta so may add them in a different way next time around.
Pasta with red bell peppers, anchovies, and pine nuts
- 2 red or yellow bell peppers
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 2 oil-packed anchovy fillets
- 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper chili flakes
- 1 small handful of pine nuts
- Olive oil
- 200-250 grams (1/2 a package) pasta – I used tagliatelle, but most shapes will work.
- Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
- Place whole peppers on a baking sheet and roast for about 30 minutes until the skins begin to blister.
- Toast the pine nuts in a small pan.
- When cool enough to handle, remove the skins and seeds of the bell peppers and discard.
- Purée the peppers in a blender until smooth.
- Cook the garlic, anchovies, and red pepper chili flakes in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat until the garlic is golden and the anchovies dissolve. Discard the garlic.
- Add the puréed bell peppers to the skillet and blend them together with the oil and anchovies and cook over medium heat for a minute or two.
- Meanwhile, cook the pasta al dente.
- Drain the pasta, saving some of the pasta water.
- Add the drained pasta and a little bit of the pasta water to the skillet with the bell peppers and toss.
- Cook over medium high-heat while tossing for about 30 seconds. Add more pasta water if needed.
- Plate, top with the toasted pine nuts, and serve.