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.
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
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.
Serve hot immediately,with chopped parsley and some grated pecorino or parmesan over the pasta, if you like.
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.
With these flowers, a happy belated Mother’s Day to all who celebrated yesterday.
Best wishes for a good week to you all,