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Delicious Pasta with Caramelized Onions, Bell Peppers and Chilli Flakes

Some days are simple pasta days in our house. It is ready in no time, and you can still pack in a lot of flavor using only a few fresh ingredients. I have been recently making this pasta dish a lot; it is delicious, ready in less than 30 minutes and you feel good about eating and serving fresh, healthy food. (For instance, there are so many health benefits of onions, from helping to prevent common cold to heart disease.)  The sweetness of the onions and the bell pepper balance the tangy lemon juice and the little heat from the chilli flakes so well. This dish certainly saves the weekday supper for us; I hope you enjoy it too.

Serves 2-3

Preparation time: 15 minutes               Cooking time: 20 minutes

350gr/12oz penne pasta

I medium onion, cut in half and thinly sliced

1 red bell pepper, deseeded, quartered and thinly sliced

Juice of 1 lemon

30ml/2 tablespoons olive oil

5-10ml/1-2tsp red pepper flakes/chilli flakes

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Handful of flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped

Grated parmesan or pecorino romano to serve

Sauteed onions and bell peppers work so well together

 Heat the olive oil in a heavy pan and sauté the onions for about 5 minutes, until they soften. Add the bell peppers; give them a good mix and sauté for a further 5 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice and the red pepper flakes/chilli flakes. Season with salt and black pepper, mix well. At that point, lower the heat and let the mixture gently keep on cooking for another 8 minutes; the bell peppers will soften and the onions will lightly caramelize eventually.

In the meantime,place the pasta in a saucepan of boiling water; add a little salt and a dash of olive oil. Stir occasionally and boil for just about 9 minutes,until “al dente”. Towards the end of the cooking, take 2 tablespoons of the pasta’s cooking liquid and add to the pasta sauce, mix well. Once pasta is cooked, drain the water and mix the pasta with the sauce.

Celeriac with walnuts, nar, bell pepper pasta 018

Serve hot immediately,with chopped parsley and some grated pecorino or parmesan over the pasta, if you like.

Afiyet Olsun!


Wisley in Full Bloom

After a period of (much needed) rain, we welcomed the sunshine this weekend inEngland. And what a welcome; spring is in full bloom! Here are a couple of shots to share from the RHS Wisley Gardens in England.


I have been seeing this very beautiful blue flowered tree in front of our home, and now I know its name; Hippocrepis Emerus – very pretty.

I am reserving my spot on that bench, surrounded by beautiful flowers, what a way to chill out

It is the season for the Rhododendrons, they have been in full bloom and the colors are mesmerizing. This red one is Rhododendron “Markeeta’s Prize”

With these flowers, a happy belated Mother’s Day to all who celebrated yesterday.

Best wishes for a good week to you all,



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15 Responses to Delicious Pasta with Caramelized Onions, Bell Peppers and Chilli Flakes

  1. Turkey's For Life May 14, 2012 at 12:01 pm #

    We love pasta in our house, too. Love the look of this dish, especially as it uses chilli flakes. The hotter the better for us. 🙂

    • Ozlem May 14, 2012 at 7:30 pm #

      Merhaba Julia,
      We love the heat from the kirmizi pul biber, the red pepper flakes too – they add a wonderful smoky heat and loads of flavor, glad you liked it.

  2. CuisinedeProvence May 14, 2012 at 2:16 pm #

    Beautiful colours – I miss Wisley Gardens!

    • Ozlem May 14, 2012 at 7:29 pm #

      Thank you Barbara, colors are full on at this time of the year 🙂

  3. Phil in the Kitchen May 14, 2012 at 10:25 pm #

    Definitely my kind of pasta dish – although, I must admit that we’ve been roasting tomatoes a lot for our pasta lately. Wisley does look lovely at the moment – but then I love it at all times of the year. Now, I hope you don’t mind me being controversial here, but I don’t think that’s a hippocrepis – I think hippocrepis are yellow-flowered plants. I think that’s a ceanothus – possibly a ceanothus thyrsiflorus. My wife tells me that I’m too fussy about the names of things – she’s probably right. Have a great week, whatever the plants are called.

    • Ozlem May 15, 2012 at 9:12 am #

      Dear Phil, many thanks for your comment, you know I am sure you are right on the flower name. I scribbled the name on a piece of paper with my daughter’s crayons, while we were admiring the flowers, maybe I wrote the one next to that plant. Thank you for letting me know – the flowers and plants fascinate me and I am addicted to the Gardener’s World at the moment, look forward to learning about them more! 🙂

  4. BacktoBodrum May 15, 2012 at 8:23 am #

    Needed some inspiration for supper tonight – Thanks, this will do nicely. The colours at Wisley used to remind me of bouganvilia.

    • Ozlem May 15, 2012 at 9:09 am #

      Merhaba Back to Bodrum;
      Even writing the word Bodrum puts a smile on my face, what a wonderful place to be, enjoy it for us too! I am glad the pasta inspired 🙂

  5. Peri May 15, 2012 at 1:18 pm #

    The Pasta looks so delicious and what i like about it is the freshness:) its a perfect week night meal and pasta is much appreciated around our place:) thanks for creating this yummy recipe, Ozlem…

    • Ozlem May 15, 2012 at 7:53 pm #

      Thank you Peri, the freshness is the key for me too, with a touch of spice; glad you liked it – pasta is a favourite weekday supper, isn’t it, hope the boys like this one!

  6. Alida May 15, 2012 at 1:22 pm #

    What a yummy pasta you have made. Simple and flavourful dish!

    • Ozlem May 15, 2012 at 7:51 pm #

      Hello Alida, glad you liked it : )

  7. ATasteOfMadness May 16, 2012 at 5:05 am #

    Wow, you pasta looks so fresh, healthy and summer-y! Your photos are also gorgeous

    • Ozlem May 16, 2012 at 8:45 am #

      Thank you very much!

  8. Peri May 16, 2012 at 8:19 pm #

    Hi Ozlem,

    Thanks once again for nominating me for the Liebster Award.

    You know how much I enjoy your site and blog posts, so I have nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award and the One Lovely Blog Award.

    If you’d like to read and repost the award, here’s the link:

    Look forward to reading more of your posts.

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