Food does not have to be complicated to be considered excellent.
You don’t have to have lots of different ingredients to make an outstanding meal.
You can feature one item, concentrating its flavors so you get the essence of what it’s all about.
Using the brightly colored peppers of summer, crushed red pepper flakes for heat, extra virgin olive oil, spicy fresh basil and a quick grating of Parmigiana Reggiana you have an easy summer supper that is as beautiful as it tastes.
Simple can be legendary.
Tagliatelle with Six Peppers
Adapted from Patricia Wells’ Tagliatelle con Peperoni e Basilica in
1 large red bell pepper
1 large yellow bell pepper
1 large green bell pepper
1 large orange bell pepper.
6 good swirls extra virgin olive oil (enough to coat the bottom of a covered deep 12 inch skillet)
Crushed hot red pepper flakes
¼ cup fresh basil, cut into chiffonade
Freshly grated Parmigiana Reggiana
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
Enough Tagliatelle for three people*
Halve the peppers, core them and slice in very thin matchstick pieces. Swirl enough extra virgin olive oil to into the bottom of a deep 12 inch skillet that has a top. Shake a bit of crushed red pepper flakes into the oil, add the peppers and season with a little coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper. Toss them well and put the pan, covered over very low heat until the peppers are very soft. This takes about 45 minutes. Don’t let the peppers brown. Stir from time to time and don’t let them burn. They will make a lovely sauce from their juices in the bottom of the pan. You can do this ahead of time and reheat.
Cook the Tagliatelle in a large pot of water until tender and drain.
Put the Tagliatelle in the skillet with the peppers, off the heat and toss to blend. Cover and let sit for three minutes so the sauce is absorbed. Transfer to pasta bowls, top with the basil, grate Parmigiana and you’re ready for a great meal.
Serves 3 generously.
(it's possible to use Papardelle in this as well. It tastes divine either way)