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Delicious, Sun kissed Inspirations from Kalkan; Pasta with peppers, chili, garlic and tomatoes, in olive oil

We have had some wonderful food while in Kalkan at the south coast of Turkey, featuring region’s sun kissed fresh produce; tomatoes have been at their peak, and the peppers tasted out of this world – no need to mention the region’s divine olive oil; I could dip my bread to it all day!

Sun kissed south coast of Turkey is always so inviting

We had this simple yet very delicious pasta at the Villa Mahal’s café, and I recreated at home in England; it is packed with goodness and so easy too, ready within 30 minutes. The sweetness of tomatoes and peppers work so well with the chili pepper and tangy lemon juice- a handful of capers also work really well in this sauce.  Even though it wasn’t Kalkan’s lovingly grown tomatoes, still tasted wonderful, with children asking for another serving; sunshine on a plate.

Pasta with peppers, chili, garlic in olive oil, so delicious

Pasta with peppers, chili, garlic, tomatoes in olive oil, so delicious

For the ultimate Turkish experience, you can serve the pasta with Ayran, refreshing Turkish drink with yoghurt or Cacik dip with cucumber and yoghurt by the side. The tangy and hard Turkish kasar cheese goes very well, grated over the pasta; if you can’t get kasar, you can replace it with a tangy cheddar or Pecorino Romano.

Signed copies of Ozlem’s Turkish Table book, available to order at this link

I am passionate about healthy, delicious Turkish cuisine and aimed to showcase this wonderful cuisine with stories from my homeland at my cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table, Recipes from My Homeland. It has over 90 authentic Turkish recipes and regional specialties from my hometown, Antakya. Signed copies are available to order at this link, for a limited period, if you’d like to get a copy.

Serves 4

Preparation time: 25 minutes                     Cooking time: 15 – 20 minutes

500gr pasta (spaghetti or penne works well) – or enough for 4 –

Red, orange, yellow (or green) pointy or bell peppers, deseeded and finely chopped

1-2 chili peppers, deseeded and finely chopped

4-6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

4 medium ripe tomatoes, finely chopped – please keep all the wonderful juice!-

Juice of ½ lemon

5ml/1 tsp. brown sugar

60ml/3 tbsp. olive oil

10ml/2 tsp. oregano

5ml/1 tsp. red pepper flakes – optional-

Sea Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Grated hard and tangy Turkish kasar  (tangy cheddar) or  Pecorino Romano to serve

Ripe tomatoes, juicy peppers, garlic; fresh ingredients for a healthy, delicious sauce

Heat the olive oil in a shallow pan and stir in the peppers, chili pepper and garlic. Sauté for 3-4 minutes. Add the tomatoes to the pan and combine well. Stir in the lemon juice, brown sugar and red pepper flakes, if using. Season with salt and ground black pepper, mix well.  Leave to cook on a moderate heat for about 8 minutes. Once cooked, stir in the oregano to the sauce and check the seasoning.

Tomatoes, peppers, chili and the garlic work so well together

Boil the water for the pasta in a separate heavy pan, while the sauce is cooking. Cook the spaghetti in plenty of lightly salted boiling water until a minute before it is al dente (please refer to the cooking time on the pasta’s packaging). Drain the water and set aside the pasta in the colander.

Stir in the pasta to the pan where the sauce is cooked; make sure to coat all the pasta with the sauce (if you like, you can drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil over the pasta).

Make sure to stir in the cooked pasta to the pan you cooked the sauce in, to mop up all the juices

Serve hot with grated tangy kasar (cheddar) or  pecorino cheese over the pasta. Steamed vegetables or cacik dip complement the pasta well; ayran drink would be a refreshing accompaniment to the pasta too.

Sunset in Kalkan; mesmerising

Sunset in Kalkan; mesmerising

Afiyet Olsun!



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24 Responses to Delicious, Sun kissed Inspirations from Kalkan; Pasta with peppers, chili, garlic and tomatoes, in olive oil

  1. Alida September 9, 2012 at 8:08 pm #

    All these photographs are just a joy to the eye. Your country is just so beautiful. This pasta is so colourful and with tomatoes properly ripened in the sun, this is an amazing flavourful dish!

    • Ozlem September 10, 2012 at 9:23 am #

      Ciao Alida,
      Many thanks, glad you enjoyed the post – Turkey is a fascinating land and it is a pleasure to share the experience:)

  2. Phil in the Kitchen September 10, 2012 at 11:24 pm #

    As usual, your dish is making me feel very hungry. Really ripe, fresh tomatoes and peppers are simply some the best ingredients you can have in my opinion. The pictures of Kalkan are wonderful – I’m feeling very jealous.

    • Ozlem September 11, 2012 at 8:40 am #

      Dear Phil, I feel the same, you can’t go wrong with fresh ingredients like these ripe tomatoes, and good news is we can get these all here too. And one of my dreams is to have a home in south coast of Turkey, and I would be delighted to cook for you all there!

  3. Peri September 11, 2012 at 8:32 pm #

    Lovely fresh pasta, Ozlem..these finger peppers are always so sweet and juicy. I like the brown sugar in the sauce, such a wonderful flavor combination:) I have all these on hand, so this pasta is on the menu next week! hope it’s ok to use Parmesan cheese since I have some in the refrigerator:)

    • Ozlem September 12, 2012 at 4:03 pm #

      Glad you liked the pasta sauce Peri, a little brown sugar indeed balances the tomatoes and garlic; and by all means, Parmesan would work really well too! So glad it’s in the menu : ) xx Ozlem

  4. Susan September 12, 2012 at 4:44 am #

    Just beautiful! Light, fresh, and lovely!

    • Ozlem September 12, 2012 at 4:00 pm #

      Thanks Susan, we love fresh ingredients!

    • Tracey July 7, 2020 at 5:06 am #

      Hi Ozlem

      Do you know what the calorie count on this is please per portion?

      • Ozlem Warren July 8, 2020 at 11:24 am #

        Merhaba Tracey,
        I don’t normally calculate the calories – though always try for healthy, easy to make recipes – but I had a look online and put the ingredients list through this calculation, looks like per portion around 330 calories, I hope it helps, Ozlem

  5. Henia September 16, 2012 at 11:36 am #

    Lovely pasta dish Ozlem! I will be trying this out soon! thanks for sharing!

    • Ozlem September 16, 2012 at 11:55 am #

      Many thanks for stopping by Henia, delighted that you will have a go at the pasta recipe:)

  6. Allison (Spontaneous Tomato) September 30, 2012 at 7:01 pm #

    Gorgeous photos, and that pasta looks so fresh and tempting!

    • Ozlem October 1, 2012 at 9:33 am #

      So kind of you, that pasta is a keeper in our house 🙂

  7. Yemek Tarifileri September 2, 2013 at 11:48 am #

    [Marked as spam by Antispam Bee | Spam reason: Server IP]
    Ellerinize sağlık. Sunum ve anlatışınızı çok beğendim. Ayrıca fotoğrafa da bayıldığımı belirtmek isterim 🙂


    • Ozlem Warren September 3, 2013 at 11:26 am #

      Merhabalar, cok tesekkur ederim notunuz icin, bende Yemek tarifleri sitesinize bayildim : ) En yakinda yeniden ziyaret etmek uzere, Sevgilerimle,

  8. Gail January 22, 2014 at 2:00 am #

    This was so fresh and light…delishious! Will absolutely make this again!
    Thanks for sharing!

    • Ozlem Warren January 22, 2014 at 9:19 am #

      So glad to hear you enjoyed it Gail, my pleasure; thank you for stopping by!

  9. A. Gulden March 15, 2014 at 10:59 pm #

    Absolutely fantastic! If I didn’t have pine mushrooms to cook tonight -with pasta- this is what I would be cooking 🙂 Eline saglik Ozlemcim 🙂

    • Ozlem Warren March 16, 2014 at 1:51 pm #

      Merhaba Gulden’cim, glad it inspired & hope you enjoyed it, afiyet olsun 🙂

  10. Ozlem September 18, 2012 at 9:19 am #

    Many thanks for the mention, delighted to find your blog!

  11. Ozlem September 20, 2012 at 2:46 pm #

    Thanks for the mention 🙂


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