Say peperoni, in whatever shape and form, and you will see hearts showing up in my eyes, just like the emoticons you have on your smartphone or the ones you see in cartoons. Seriously. So you can understand why I just could not wait any longer to introduce you all to pasta con crema di peperoni: a quick pasta dish that is perfect for anyone in your family, any sex and age because peppers do not discriminate anyone. They are so cool that they get on with everyone!
Now. We really need to clarify that the word “peperone” is not the English word for spicy salami. Peperone=pepper. Who would have thought it?
Because there are SO many “e” in this word, it is worth mentioning that the vowel “e” is pronounced as E in bench, peppercorn, bed (OMG where are all these random words coming from?). But you get the picture. Pe-pe-ro-ne! And the same applies to chilli con carnE, mascarponE.:-)
When I was a child I went through a phase when I would refuse to eat, so my kind and patient mum went on an exciting journey to explore all sorts of combinations to lure me into eating. And peperoni (peppers) together with cabbage turned out to be one of those vegetables of which I would happily eat large amounts.
Thankfully it was a very short phase and my passion for all sorts of good food came back soon and since then I have been eating pretty much everything, apart from one exception. Shall we play a guess game? Naaaa, let’s carry on with the recipe of today.
I was saying. Since then I have loved peppers more than many things and I always count the days to the summer season when I can get hold of the juiciest and nicest peppers available at markets.
There are so many delicious things you can make with these fantagalactic vegetables. You may want to check out the recipe for involtini di peperoni ripieni, for example. But pasta con crema di peperoni is the ultimate and absolute delicious pasta dish you want to make to treat your partner, friends or children. Or to be fair, just yourself, after a long day at work when you need some food cuddles.
What I adore about pasta con crema di peperoni is its creaminess that comes from the ricotta or mascarpone and the subtle hint of basil. They are such a great association of flavours. They were meant to be!
Two weeks ago my husband George and I decided to start making some “home made” videos and it was lots of fun, specially for him seeing me so freaked out by the camera and getting everything wrong. You know me. I am shy…
So I am very excited to show you one of our first video recipes today!:-D For more detailed information and guidance, I also shared the step by step recipe, all to be found in the method section:-D
Ingredients for pasta con crema di peperoni
- 400g caserecce pasta (trofie or strozzapreti, rigatoni as alternatives)
- 3 medium-sized red and yellow peppers (about 600g)
- 3 big peeled and crushed garlic cloves or 5 small ones
- 5 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- A pinch of chilli (the tip of a teaspoon)
- half a tablespoon of salt
- a bunch of fresh basil, washed and dried (at least 10 big leaves plus a few for decoration)
- 3 full tablespoons of ricotta or mascarpone (about 200g)
- 20g of grated parmesan
- Salt for boiling water
- some basil leaves to guarnish
- Extra parmesan to sprinkle on individual portions (to taste)
The video below will guide you through each step.
Step by step instructions
Wash and dry the peppers. Take off the stalks, cut them in half and take the seeds out.
Chop each half across the length obtaining strips. Then chop each of these in half. You need to obtain pieces of peppers that are roughly the same size. This will guarantee an even level of cooking.
In a large frying pan add the oil, the garlic and the chilli. On low heat cook the garlic gently until it starts “dancing” and starts getting golden.
Add the peppers, increase the heat from low to medium, stir well with a spoon to coat the peppers with the oil condiment.
Add the salt and stir well again to distribute it evently among the peppers.
Lower the heat, cover with a lid. Stir occasionally, just to make sure the peppers do not get stuck at the bottom of the pan. Cook until peppers are softned enough that if you try to break them with a wooden spoon, they will meet no resistance.
Take the garlic out. When the peppers are ready, take the pan off the hob. Let cool down for a few minutes.
Transfer the peppers into a mixer. Mix until creamy.
Transfer the content back to the pan. Add the mascarpone or ricotta. On low heat, mix well to incorporate the peppers cream to the ricotta or mascarpone.
Add some extra basil leaves, some grated parmesan and mix again. Spinkle some pepper, optionally.
Take off the hob.
Cooking the pasta
In a large saucepan add about 2l of water. Bring to boil. Add at least a tablespoon of salt. Pour the pasta and cook al dente. (Regarding salt for the pasta, it is indeed a matter of taste but traditionally it is good practice to add a fair amount of salt. Start with little and then taste the pasta while it is cooking. Add more if required.)
Drain the pasta and move it to the pan where the peppers cream is. Mix well until every single pasta is covered in cream.
Sprinkle some parmesan. When the pasta is served on individual plates, decorate with a basil leaf and sprinkle some parmesan.
The taste is amazing but you will be even more delighted as it was so easy to make this dish that you still cannot believe that such amazingness came from a dish made in such a short time:-D
Making this for the first time for tonight… I had no idea peppers turn into such a gorgeous cream in the food processor!!