If you asked me about what peperonata was a few years ago, I wouldn’t have had a clue what you were talking about. So today I’m going to share with you a recipe I came across from Jaime Oliver, which will really showcase how simple and easy this Rigatoni Peperonata is to make. You might have noticed all those bright sweet peppers at your local market lately and if you love peppers like I do, you’ll want to grab them to give this recipe a try. A peperonata dish is simply sweet peppers along with onion that are cooked slowly, almost to the point of being stewed, to bring out all the delicious flavours, along with balsamic vinegar, and sometimes a creamy cheese like mascarpone.
Mascarpone is an optional ingredient in this recipe, which will make this rigatoni more creamy, but I personally don’t use it. I think the peppers, onion, and balsamic vinegar and lots of flavour already, and with some olive oil, it turns out tasting great as is.
This recipe can be served as a main entrée, but also easily as a side, and the simplicity of the pasta is great for kids too. As for my daughter, I just picked our the onions and she was happy to eat it. I highly recommend this favourite Jamie Oliver recipe (which I slightly modify) and hope you get a chance to enjoy it while sweet peppers are in season.
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- 2 red peppers, sliced
- 2 yellow peppers, sliced
- olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 red onions, peeled and finely sliced
- 3 garlic gloves, minced
- 2 handfuls fresh flat leaf parsley, leaves finely chopped, stalks reserved
- 4 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
- ½ cup of parmesan cheese, grated, plus more for serving
- 2 tablespoons of mascarpone or cream cheese (optional)
- 400g rigatoni
- Put all the peppers, a pinch of salt and pepper, and a few tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat with a lid on. Cook slowly for 15 minutes until softened, giving the pan a toss every 5 minutes.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta according to packet instructions.
- Meanwhile add the onions with the peppers and cook for another 20 minutes with the lid on, also giving the pan a toss occasionally. Then add the garlic and parsley stalks and toss around, keeping everything moving in the pan. Cook for about 2-3 minutes. Add more salt and pepper if needed.
- Add the vinegar, it will mostly sizzle away, so give everything a good toss. Add the parmesan cheese and the mascarpone (optional). Keep on a low temperature just to keep warm if the pasta is still cooking.
- Once pasta is cooked drain the rigatoni, keeping about 5 tablespoons of the cooking water and add it to the pepper mixture. Add more olive oil until nicely smooth and coated, along with the chopped parsley and mix together. Serve with more parmesan. Enjoy!