Recipe – Pepper, Tomato and Basil Pasta

I’m currently growing courgettes at home and thinking about those delicious Mediterranean dishes I can make when they’re ready, just like this one from Nigel Slater.

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Ingredients

3 long sweet peppers, red, yellow, and orange

12 cherry tomatoes

2 cloves of garlic, peeled

7 tbsp olive oil

large bunch basil

400g/14oz orecchiette pasta

salt and pepper

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Preparation method

.     Turn the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.

.     Slice the peppers lengthways and trim any odd edges to form neat little boat shapes. Lay them in a fairly large roasting tin facing upwards. Halve the cherry tomatoes and place them inside the peppers roughly managing four per boat. Finely slice the garlic and tuck them in with the tomatoes and also add any pepper trimmings you have.

.     Now generously drench the peppers in a good four tablespoons of olive oil, season and put in the warm oven for half an hour.

.     Meanwhile take all but a small handful of the basil and blitz in a food processor with three tablespoons of olive oil and a little salt. When 30 minutes or so have passed and you can see a slight softening of the peppers and tomatoes, pour over the basil dressing and return to the oven for a further 20 minutes.

.     Now for the pasta, I have chosen orecchiette because the little dips help absorb and contain the juices, but any similar shape will do. Cook in boiling salted water according to the packet instructions.

.     When the peppers and tomatoes are completely soft, wrinkled and starting to brown at the edges; they are ready. Lift them onto a serving plate.

.     To make the most of the oily goodness tip the cooked drained pasta into the roasting tin, stir well ensuring that you dislodge any sweet caramelised peppery bits, as well as letting the pasta soak up all the flavour of the oil.

Finally tear in the remaining basil and serve the peppers and tomatoes on a bed of the sweet oily pasta.

With thanks to www.bbc.co.uk/food for the recipe

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