Angel Hair Pasta With Peppers and Tomatoes
This simple pasta celebrates the end-of-summer harvest and is perfect for a light lunch or supper, or as part of a buffet. Bell peppers and other sweet peppers — like Corno di Toro and many other varieties of peppers of every hue — ripen in late summer, the same time as long-awaited flavorful (and multicolored) tomatoes, making their pairing seem almost preordained.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 2garlic cloves, smashed to a paste
- 2tablespoons red-wine vinegar, or a bit less, to taste
- 3tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for bread crumbs, if using
- Salt and pepper
- Red-pepper flakes, to taste
- 1cup finely diced sweet peppers (a mix of colors, if possible)
- 3to 4 cups halved cherry tomatoes, or larger tomatoes cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1pound angel hair pasta, capellini or spaghettini
- 2ounces ricotta salata or mild feta cheese, roughly crumbled (about 1/2 cup)
- ¼cup coarse toasted bread crumbs, for garnish (optional)
- 1small bunch basil, for garnish
Step 1Put a large pot of water over high heat and bring to a boil.
Step 2In a low, wide salad bowl or pasta-serving bowl, combine garlic, red-wine vinegar and 3 tablespoons olive oil. Add a good pinch of salt, black pepper and red-pepper flakes.
Step 3Add sweet peppers and cherry tomatoes, season well with salt and toss to coat with dressing. (You may do this up to an hour before cooking the pasta.)
Step 4Salt the pasta water and cook the angel hair pasta until al dente, usually 4 to 5 minutes. Drain pasta in a colander.
Step 5Add cooked pasta to the bowl and toss well to coat, spooning over juices from bottom of bowl and bringing plenty of tomatoes and peppers to the surface.
Step 6Sprinkle with ricotta salata. If using bread crumbs, season with 1 teaspoon olive oil and a little salt, then sprinkle crumbs over surface.
Step 7Garnish with whole or torn basil leaves. Serve warm or at room temperature.