Last week I promised a post on the bamboo chopsticks and their many uses, however, I just returned from the Union Square Market this morning and I saw gorgeous local peppers which are at the height of their season right now. I wanted to share this recipe with you.
PASTA WITH SAUTEED PEPPERS © Karen Lee 2012
5 peppers, combination of red and yellow peppers and a few hot peppers
When picking out red peppers, choose the ones that are crimson red. They will be sweeter. As for hot peppers, the smaller the tip of the pepper, the hotter the pepper. So choose hot peppers that are not too small.
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
8 cloves of sliced garlic, green stem removed, if any
½ teaspoon salt
½ pound of penne
1 tablespoon butter, opt.
20 large fresh basil leaves
1-2 tablepoons of chopped fresh parsley
2/3 cup or less of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Three of my favorite places to buy parmesan cheese are:
Di Palo’s at 200 Grand Street
Buon Italia at the Chelsea Market (16th St. and 9th Ave.)
Salumeria Rose at 73 rd st and Amsterdam Ave.
And soon they are opening on the east side 903 Madison Ave.
It must say Reggiano Parmigiano on the rind with pin sized holes embedded in the rind around the wording.
Here is what to look for on the rind when purchasing parmesan cheese.
My favorite brand of dried pasta is Setaro. It is made in Naples, high in the mountains where the water is considered the best in all of Italy. They sell it at Buon Italia at the Chelsea Market. If it is not easy for you to get to the Chelsea Market they will ship it to you. Please don’t overcook – stir and taste after the first few minutes and keep tasting.
Rinse peppers, dry, cut in half, remove seeds and all membrane. Use rubber gloves if desired for the hot peppers. Slice peppers into ½-inch broad pieces, or triangle cut.
In a 12-inch sauté skillet or Rondeau, sauté the garlic slowly in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil until it is lightly brown. Remove the garlic and place it in the serving dish you will be using for the finished dish.
Add the peppers, turn the heat to medium and sauté the peppers for about 10 minutes or until they are cooked through and slightly brown. Add 1 teaspoon of salt.
Bring a large kettle or pasta pot filled with water to a rolling boil. Add 1 tablespoon of salt and then the pasta. Cover and over high heat bring the pasta back to a boil as quickly as possible. When the water returns to a boil, uncover and cook the pasta stirring occasionally for 8 or more minutes. Taste. The pasta should be slightly underdone (al dente). Drain.
Add the pasta to the peppers, along with the garlic and the basil and the parsley and the optional butter (or you can use a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil). Low heat, toss. Add the cheese. Turn off the heat and place in the serving dish. Serve immediately, but also good room temperature.