For all I know, this is a not-at-all authentic pasta recipe – but that does not make it any less delicious. I eat a lot of pasta and really love the classic Italian dishes, but at the same time, I also really enjoy trying out new foods and recipes and the joy that comes with a varied diet. I actually got the idea to try out a pepper-based sauce because there is a soup that I love making in the winter which is made from roasted pepper. I found some further inspiration online and after a short trial phase, I ended up with the recipe that I am sharing in this post.
Ingredients (serves 2):
- ca. 500 grams of red peppers, halved and stem, seeds and membranes removed
- 1/2 tablespoon of sunflower oil
- 1/4 of a red onion, roughly chopped
- 1/4 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1/4 of a chili, chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon of smoked paprika
- 100 grams of crème fraîche
- freshly ground pepper, salt
- 200 grams of cavatappi (or any other type of tubular pasta, such as penne or tortiglioni)
- 1 teaspoon of salt for the pasta water
- 30 grams of Pecorino Romano, ground
- 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh parsley
- 10 grams of ground Parmigiano Reggiano
- Heat up the oven (grill function) to around 275 degrees Celsius.
- Grease a baking tray with the sunflower oil. Place the pepper halves on the tray with the cut-side down. Put them into the oven placing the peppers directly under the grill.
- Grill for approximately 15 minutes. When the skin of the peppers becomes blistered and black, take them out of the oven. Immediately put the peppers into a plastic bag, loosely close the bag and let the peppers cool down for around 20 minutes. Then you can easily peel off the outside skin. Discard the skin and set the peppers aside.
- With a little bit of olive oil, fry the onion for around 3-4 minutes over medium heat. It should not turn brown. (Alternatively, you can also roast a whole onion (with skin) together with the peppers and then use around 1/4 for this recipe.)
- Tip the roasted peppers, the fried onion, the chili, and the smoked paprika in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy.
- Boil the pasta in salt water (time needed to be al dente minus 2 minutes).
- In the meantime, warm up the pepper sauce in a medium frying pan over low to medium heat. When hot, add the crème fraîche.
- Season the sauce with freshly ground pepper and salt to taste. Let simmer gently.
- When the pasta is done, strain and add the pasta to the sauce. Let the pasta cook for another two minutes in the sauce or until al dente.
- Take off the heat and fold in the Pecorino Romano and the chopped parsley.
- Serve in pasta dishes sprinkled with the Parmigiano Reggiano. – Enjoy!