Roasted pepper pasta

Roasted pepper pasta 

Serves 2 

Prep: 5 mins 
Cook: 30 mins 

This recipe is inspired by a dish from Delia Smith’s Vegetarian Collection, a book I used to refer to a lot growing up as a veggie teen who loved to cook. Delia flavoured her ‘red pepper relish’ with cumin and served it with pasta. I really enjoyed that combination of flavours and have been making something very similar ever since.

This is a super simple but satisfying dish which only requires one roasting tray and one saucepan so it’s very light on washing up (yay). It’s ideal for a veggie midweek meal but is also great eaten cold with a little crumbled feta for a take-to-work lunch or picnic dish. 

2 large bell peppers (both red or a mix of red and yellow)
2 tbsp olive oil 
2 tbsp cumin seeds 
350g cherry tomatoes (the best you can find, it will make a difference!)
4 fat cloves garlic (avoid the tiny ones, they’ll burn)
200g rigatoni (or penne or other short pasta)
2 tbsp sun-dried tomato paste 
pinch of sugar (I use caster sugar)
handful basil leaves, torn or finely chopped
feta or parmesan, to serve 

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 220/200 fan. Roughly chop the peppers into 3cm chunks and throw them into a large roasting tray. Sprinkle over the cumin seeds, a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper and a good glug of olive oil (around 2 tbsp). Toss to coat, then roast in the oven for 10 mins.
  1. After 10 mins, remove the tray from the oven and add the cherry tomatoes and garlic cloves (whole, still in their skins) to the peppers. Toss to coat everything in the oil, then roast altogether for a further 20 minutes.
  1. Meanwhile, fill a large saucepan with water, bring to the boil and tip in the rigatoni, along with plenty of salt. Cook according to pack instructions (around 8-10 mins, depending on the brand). Once cooked, reserve at least 50ml pasta water for later, then drain the pasta and set aside.
  1. Remove the roasting tray from the oven – by now, the peppers should be soft and browning and the tomatoes burst. Remove the garlic cloves and carefully squeeze the roasted garlic from their skins into the now empty saucepan that you cooked your pasta in. Use the back of a spatula or wooden spoon to smoosh the roasted garlic into a paste in the pan, then tip the roasted peppers and tomatoes into the pan too. Turn the heat to low, and stir everything together along with 2 tbsp sun-dried tomato paste, a pinch of sugar and 50ml of pasta water to create a sauce. 
  1. Taste and season if needed, then tip in the drained pasta and stir to coat well. To serve, tear over some fresh basil, then sprinkle with either crumbled feta or grated parmesan (or other cheese).

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