I first made this recipe for my mother years ago, and she encouraged me to break my normal devil-may-care kitchen attitude and write this recipe down. Since then, we’ve been enjoying this recipe as a hot, comforting pasta dish on a cold day, and as a cold, peppy summer pasta salad that pairs swimmingly with a fresh green salad. My favorite aspect of this recipe is that it can be as involved as you want it to be. You can make your favorite fresh-pasta recipe and roast your own peppers, or save time and use dried pasta and jarred peppers.
- 1 red pepper
- 1 lb. rotini pasta (or other fun shape)
- 1 medium Vidalia onion, julienned
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
- 10-15 leaves fresh basil, cut in long strips
- 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil (plus extra for pasta)
- 1 cup white wine
- 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- salt and pepper to taste
In the oven broiler, roast the pepper until its skin begins to bubble and blacken. Cool and peel the skin from the flesh of the pepper. (You may substitute canned, roasted red peppers.) Julienne the pepper and set it aside. Cook the pasta according to package instructions. Reserve ½ cup of the starchy pasta water for sauce. Drain pasta and toss lightly with a drizzle of olive oil. In a hot saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add garlic and onions. Cook until the onions begin to caramelize. Toss in the peppers, and add white wine, plus salt and black pepper to taste. Let simmer until wine has reduced by half. Add the balsamic vinegar and cook on low heat for an additional five minutes with the reserved pasta water. Toss the pasta with the vegetables until well combined, and add the fresh basil. Top with fresh grated cheese (I like Asiago). Dish can be served hot or cold; either way, enjoy it with the rest of the bottle of white wine.
Lucy Gillespie is a baker at Food Glorious Food and one half of Grains & Grinds, which offers cooking classes and delivery services. www.grainsandgrinds.com