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A tasty, colourful and light vegetarian pasta dish for those hot summer, or just busy, days when you don’t want to spend too much time in the kitchen.
- 400 g Bucatini or pasta of your choice. ( I used bucatini by De Cecco)
- 1 kg red and yellow cherry or datterini tomatoes or Perini tomatoes
- 3 bell peppers I used one orange and two red
- 1 I onion peeled and finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves peeled and finely chopped
- 60 g Pecorino cheese grated
- 1 handful fresh basil leaves chopped
- 3-4 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
- salt for pasta and to taste
- black pepper to taste
- 120 g small pieces Mozzarella (optional)
- 1/2 fresh red chili pepper peperoncino (optional)
Cut the peppers in half, remove the seeds and pith and cut into small strips. Peel and chop the onion finely. Peel and chop the garlic finely. Remove the seeds from the chili pepper (if using) and chop into small pieces
Heat the olive oil in a frying pan or skillet. Add the peppers and cook until they start to soften (I always start with the peppers as they take longer to soften than the onions and other ingredients)
Then add the onion and continue cooking until that starts to soften too. Add the garlic and chopped peperoncino. Mix well and cook for another minute or two.
Finally, add the whole cherry/datterini tomatoes and basil and mix everything together well.
Cover the sauce and cook over a medium heat, turning it occasionally, for about 30 minutes. Remove the cover for the last 10 minutes to allow the liquid to reduce.
In the meantime, put a pot of water on to boil for the pasta. Add salt once it starts to boil and bring to the boil again. Cook the bucatini al dente according to the instructions on the packet. Save a cup of the pasta cooking water and drain the pasta,
If the sauce seems too dry add half a cup of the pasta cooking water.
Add the pasta to the tomato and pepper sauce with some grated pecorino and mix well.
If you are using mozzarella, add it now, mix again and serve immediately sprinkled with more grated pecorino.
I didn't want to use mozzarella this time as I wanted to keep the dish lighter but it does give it a richer taste. You can also add fresh ricotta!
This recipe can be made with different types of pasta, both long and short. I would recommend bucatini, however, as it goes so well with thicker sauces that contain larger pieces of ingredients.
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