One of the things I cannot grow (and there’s lots, but let’s just focus on this one) is bell peppers. I don’t have the patience. Especially if I want them to be any color besides green. Mine never ripened. They turned green and then sat there, stubbornly, little and green, forever. I gave up on them, and now only grow chili peppers, which, thankfully mature and ripen quickly. So, it was with great pleasure that I received the above beauties in my CSA box. I remembered a pasta recipe that I had seen while thumbing through Four Seasons Pasta: A Year of Inspired Recipes in the Italian Tradition by Janet Fletcher.
The original recipe calls for large red bell pepper. Well, I had four multi-colored peppers, in various sizes. Close enough! That’s what I love about cooking and hate about baking. I am rarely if ever exact. Also, there was a final step in this recipe that I hardly ever do, and that is, add butter to finish off a dish. This recipe has you add 2 tablespoons of butter at the end. I decided that as stressful as my life has been and as healthy as this dish was up to the butter, I deserved it. And…wow! What a difference it made. I was swirling pasta around scooping up every last drip of that butter. The observant ones among you will notice the two different pasta shapes. I always end up with lots of half used bags of pasta in my pantry and decided to just be frugal and combine. I feel very virtuous.
Pasta with Bell Peppers and Prosciutto
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 large cloves of garlic, minced
5 large red bell peppers (or whatever you’ve got), seeds and ribs removed and sliced 1/4 inch wide
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
3 to 4 ounces prosciutto, minced
1 pound dried pasta
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute quickly until it become fragrant (about a minute). Add the bell peppers and oregano, crushing the oregano with your fingers. Season with salt. Turn the heat to low, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally until the peppers are tender but not mushy (about 30 to 40 minutes). Stir in the prosciutto and remove from heat.
Heat a large pot of salted water to boiling. Cook pasta as directed on package. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water and add drained pasta to the sauce in the skillet. Add the butter and parsley and toss until the butter melts. Moisten with some of the reserved pasta water if it’s too dry.