Fresh multi-colored bell peppers are the star ingredient in this simple and sophisticated pasta recipe. First baked, then sautéed with onion, the red and yellow peppers are perfectly infused with dried chili peppers and fresh basil.
10 ounces fresh tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and diced
3 bell peppers, mixture of red and yellow
4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, sliced
1 pinch of finely crushed dried red chili
1 handful of fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces
1 ¼ lb. linguine
Place the tomatoes in a colander, sprinkle them with a little salt, and set them aside to drain for about 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Arrange the peppers on a baking pan. Place in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.
Remove and wrap in aluminum foil. Set aside for 20 minutes to cool. Unwrap, cut in half lengthwise, peel, de-rib, and cut into long thin strips.
In a frying pan over low heat, warm the oil. Add the onion and cook, stirring until translucent, about three minutes. Add the tomatoes, and bell peppers,
cover and cook for 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt. Sprinkle with the chili and basil.
Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of salted water to boil, add the linguine and cook until al dente. Note: when the pasta is cooked al dente, there should be a slight resistance in the center when the pasta is chewed. To check doneness of the pasta, remove a piece of pasta from the water and allow a few seconds for it to cool. When you take a bite of the pasta, it should be firm, but not hard. If it is too soft, continue to cook, checking doneness frequently.
Drain the linguine and transfer to a heated platter. Pour the pepper sauce over the top, toss, and serve immediately.
Total time: about 50 minutes
Bake time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: about 8 to 10 minutes
Adapted from a recipe found in the cookbook The De Medici Kitchen, published in 1992.