roasted pepper fusili

This last week was one of intensive eating out, due to a birthday last week (meaning lots of celebratory going out), my dad visiting over the weekend (meaning lots of free meals), and Nathan’s parents coming up from Santa Cruz this morning for brunch. Well, I guess we did cook huevos rancheros for them, so that wasn’t eating out. Note to self: must post about huevos rancheros later – they were awesome!

Meanwhile, summer’s almost ending. Here in San Francisco, all that really means is shorter days, the expected arrival of the winter rains, and the last push to do outdoorsy activities. We already had our first gloomy/misty day this week, but it was bookended by some amazingly warm and beautiful days, so how can I complain? Besides, end of summer also equals an explosion of tomatoes and red peppers. It’s easy to keep up with the tomatoes but the peppers have proven a challenge. So I’ve taken to roasting them to make them stay good longer and using them in various sauces and sandwiches, including this quick pasta sauce I improvised the other night.

1/2 lb dried fusili (or other pasta shapes)
2-3 red peppers
2 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic
1/2 small onion, chopped
1/4 cup red wine
1-2 small tomatoes, chopped (probably better peeled, but I’m always too lazy to do that)
Red pepper flakes (if you want a slight kick to the dish)

Cook fusili in salted boiling water until al dente. Reserving some of the pasta water, drain and rinse quickly under cool water to stop the pasta from cooking.

Meanwhile, roast the peppers under a broiler, turning once in a while, until skin is blackened. Remove from broiler and let cool a bit so it’s easier to handle. Peel off the charred skin, the stem, and the seeds. Roughly chop the roasted pepper meat.

Heat olive oil over medium-high heat and saute onions until softened. Add in garlic and saute quickly for 1 min (don’t let garlic burn!). Add in chopped tomatoes with all their juices and the wine. Reduce heat to medium and let simmer gently for 10-15 min until the tomatoes get soft. Add roasted peppers and simmer for another 5 min. Season with salt and pepper. Add in as much red pepper flakes as you want, depending on how spicy you want the sauce to be.

Add the cooked pasta to the pan and toss carefully. If it looks too dry, add in some of the pasta water. Taste again and adjust seasonings if needed.

(Makes 2 servings)