Thursday, October 28, 2010

Peperoncini + pasta = delicious

My husband and I got hooked on the wonders of peperoncini peppers over the summer when I tried a recipe for hot dogs that used them as a topping.
   We loved the pickled version of this small yellow pepper. They weren’t at all hot.
   Recently I spotted a pasta recipe from Fine Cooking magazine that used peperoncini, and knew immediately I wanted to try it.
  Spicy Capellini (click for the recipe) is a recipe developed by cookbook author and TV host Lidia Bastianich.
   The recipe was a delicious and quick and easy to make – terrific for a weeknight.
   But there was something about the resulting dish that was curious.
   Although my husband and I didn’t find the peperoncini to be too spicy on the hot dogs, they definitely packed a spicy punch once cooked.
   Whatever the science is behind this curiosity is really no matter, though. The heat was at a deliciously tolerable level in the pasta, and my husband and I are wimps when it comes to overly hot or spicy dishes. However, I wouldn’t serve this dish to children or tweens.
   There was another part of the recipe that puzzled us.
   The recipe calls for three cups of crushed peeled Italian tomatoes.
   I scribbled this ingredient down on my grocery shopping list, and so we came home with cans of crushed tomatoes – as in, tomato mush.
   I’m not sure this is what the recipe needs, though. Although the crushed tomatoes worked fine and coated the capellini strands in a lovely oily tomato sauce, my gut feeling is that the recipe really wants is a can of peeled tomatoes.
   You can find pickled peperoncini in the aisle of the supermarket that has pickles and relishes.
   Working together, my husband and I had this dish together in about 40 minutes.
   Eight slices of chopped bacon and thinly sliced onions are cooked. The peperoncini and tomatoes are added and the sauce simmered.
   Meanwhile, capellini or angel hair pasta (we used whole wheat spaghetti instead) is cooked, drained, and tossed with olive oil and the sauce.
   Grated Parmigianio-Reggiano cheese and optional parsley is stirred in.

Another terrific pasta dish for fall: Orecchiette with Fennel, Sausage and Tomatoes

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1 comment:

Lysa said...

This is an excellent recipe. I made it with some home made tomato sauce that I canned myself ... Yum, yum, yum!! Thank you for sharing!