Casarecce Pasta with Peperonata / Casarecce pasta alla peperonata
“Casarecce is also known as ‘casareccia’ in certain areas of Italy. Casarecce is short pasta noodles with curled edges and a groove down the middle. Casarecce is originally from Sicily, but it is also a very popular pasta in other regions of Southern Italy such as Calabria and Campania. Dried casarecce can be found in many countries outside of Italy. In fact, a number of UK and US supermarket chains sell it. Jacqueline De Bono
- Ingredients: Serves 4
- 400 g casarecce pasta (14oz)
- 2 red sweet peppers (bell peppers/capsicums)
- 2 yellow sweet peppers
- 2 orange sweet peppers
- 2 garlic cloves peeled and cut in half
- 2 red onions, peeled and sliced
- 1 handful cherry tomatoes cut in half
- 300 g Italian tomato passata (10 oz)
- 1 bay leaf
- 5-6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
- salt for pasta and to taste
- black pepper to taste
- fresh basil or flat leaf parsley as required
- grated hard vegetarian pecorino as required
- Cut the peppers in half lengthwise and remove the stalk, seeds and internal white filaments. Cut the peppers into smallish strips. Wash and dry the peppers well.
- Wash the cherry tomatoes, dry them and cut them in half.
- Peel the onions and slice (not too finely).
- Peel the garlic and cut in half.
- Put the extra virgin olive oil into a deep frying pan, add the onions, garlic cloves and peppers. Cook over a medium heat until all the ingredients start to soften. Stir often.
- Add the tomato passata, the cherry tomatoes, the bay leaf and wine vinegar, plus salt to taste. Mix everything together well and cook covered for 30-40 minutes over a low heat. Stir occasionally.
- Just before the pepper sauce is cooked, fill a large deep pan with 3 litres of water and bring to the boil for the pasta. Add 1 tps salt once it starts to boil and bring back the boil again. Carefully add the pasta to the boiling water and cook the pasta al dente according to the instructions on the packet. Stir occasionally. Before draining the pasta save a cup of the cooking water.
- Remove the bay leaf from the sauce. Add the drained pasta to the peperonata and mix well. If the sauce seems dry add some of the pasta cooking water.
- Serve immediately with a sprinkling of ground black pepper, chopped basil or parsley and grated cheese (if required)
- NOTES: If you make a larger quantity, you can save some peperonata to eat as a side dish or on bruschetta. You can also bake the pasta and sauce before serving. Before putting it in the oven, add some grated vegetarian pecorino or mozzarella on top.