Pasta Peperonata

This week at I Heart Cooking Clubs we have started a new season cooking with a new chef, Jamie Oliver. I made Pasta Peperonata, this is the first Jamie Oliver recipe I've ever tried and it was a hit! I found the recipe here at his website and it sounded too good not to try, especially since I had six bell peppers in the fridge, and was not quite sure what to do with them.

Pasta Peperonata

recipe from Jamie Oliver -- my adaptations in italics

2 red peppers, deseeded and sliced

2 yellow peppers, deseeded and sliced

extra virgin olive oil

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 red onions, peeled and finely sliced --I left these out and added in two orange bell peppers in their place, so 6 peppers total for me

2 garlic cloves, peeled and grated

2 handfuls of fresh flat-leaf parsley, leaves finely chopped, stalks reserved -- I used a few shakes of dried parsley

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar -- I used pomegranate infused red wine vinegar -- seems like I always buy these flavored vinegars but don't often find uses for them even though I love vinegar

2 handfuls of grated Parmesan cheese

optional: 2 heaped tablespoons mascarpone cheese or crème Fraîche

455g/1lb rigatoni, penne or spaghetti

Put all the peppers in a large frying pan over a medium heat with a little olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper.

Place a lid on, and cook slowly for 15 minutes until softened. Don't rush this too much, as cooking the peppers slowly like this really helps to bring out the flavour.

Add the onion and cook for a further 20 minutes. Then add the garlic and parsley stalks and toss around, keeping everything moving in the pan. Cook for about 3 minutes most. Have a little taste, and season with a bit more salt and pepper.

Add the vinegar - it will sizzle away, so give everything a good toss. Then add one handful of the grated Parmesan and the mascarpone or crème fraîche if you are using it and turn the heat down to minimum while you cook the pasta.

Meanwhile put a large pot of salted water on to boil. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook according to the packet instructions. When cooked, drain in a colander, reserving some of the cooking water. Put the peppers, pasta and parsley leaves into a large warmed bowl.

Give them a good toss together, then add a little of the pasta cooking water and a few good lugs of extra virgin olive oil to coat the pasta nicely. Serve straight away sprinkled with the rest of the Parmesan.

~~~ end of recipe ~~~

This was so delicious! I love peppers but usually like them better just slightly sauteed and still crunchy, so I wasn't sure if I would love these or not but I did. The vinegar was just wonderful in this, and all of the flavors went together so well. Even though I added an extra two peppers (six total instead of four), I think I could have added a couple more (maybe two greens?) -- this has me thinking this will be a perfect recipe in the summer time with all of the garden fresh bell peppers!
So, my first Jamie Oliver recipe was a huge success, and guess what? Even the kids liked this! Can't wait to make it again.