We still have many weeks of summer left and certainly plenty of sunshine and heat. Along with those fantastic tomatoes we have plenty of peppers in all shapes, sizes and heat, to enjoy. This past weekend I decided to combine some of my peppers and tomatoes from Hilltop that were nice and ripe, to see what I could come up with. Some of my best recipes are a little of this .. and and little of that. How could I go wrong with peppers and tomatoes, right?
Always looking for a fast and easy way to turn my beautiful farmers market items into a a dish I can enjoy right away, so I decided to do a very fast roast of my pepper and tomatoes on high heat. It worked like a dream! While the pan cooled I pureed everything in my food processor and then added the partially cooked pasta.
My first version used yellow plum tomatoes, yellow bell and Hungarian wax peppers . Just for good measure I tried this with red plum tomatoes, green frying peppers and jalapeño. Both were delicious. Though I should note that the jalapeño version was a bit more spicy – but just as great as the yellow version.
Feel free to play around with your tomatoes and peppers. On last note on the tomatoes: plum, or Roma work best with this recipe. They are meatier and have a little less water. This is a great way to use your tomatoes and peppers in a bright summery sauce.
Tomato and Pepper Pasta Sauce
Makes 4 servings
1½ lb plum tomatoes
¼ lb Hungarian wax peppers, about 3, or 1 medium jalapeño
1 big bell pepper or ⅓ lb Carmen frying peppers, about 5
1 medium yellow or red onion
2 plum garlic cloves
Extra virgin olive oil
Ground black pepper
12 oz of your favorite spaghetti
Grated parmigianno-reggiano cheese
1 bunch fresh basil, leaves slices thinly
1 small bunch fresh chives, or scallion tops, sliced thinly
1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees
2. Slice the tomatoes lengthwise and using a small grapefruit spoon scrape out the seeds and nip off the cores. Place on a large rimmed baking sheet. Remove the ends off the peppers and slice in half lengthwise and shake out the seeds. Place on the sheet. Chop the onion in 1” pieces and place on the sheet along with the garlic.
3. Drizzle with ¼ cup of olive oil, 2 teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Toss will with your hands and push everything flat on the tray. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove and allow to cool slightly. Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to boil.
4. Scrape the vegetables into a food processor and pulse 4-5 times to break everything up and combine. Place in a large saute pan and keep warm.
5. Cook the spaghetti to 3 minutes before al dente. Using tongs remove the pasta and place into the pan with the sauce. Turn up the heat slightly on the sauce and finish cooking the pasta to al dente. If the sauce gets a little thick add in a bit of the pasta water.
6. Garnish with parmesan, basil and chives and enjoy immediately!