CENA STASERA… Hot Peperonata!
Dinner tonight was probably one of the easiest, yet most satisfying, dinners I’ve ever made – Hot Peperonata. The “peperonata” is really a garnish that can be used in many different dishes. It involved sauteing onions, various peppers (I had three Italian sweet peppers to use, which I found gave the dish a fantastic sweet element), and some form of tomato to create a sauce-like side dish. Immediately after seeing this idea, I thought it would go fantastic over basic rotini pasta – quick, simple, and soooo tasty!
Of course, I added my own flare to this peperonata. I tossed in red pepper flakes to kick up the heat, and boy did it heat up! The heat from the warm sauce and the spicy heat from the flakes created a fierce dish full of flavor. What I loved the most was how the heat mixed so well with the sweetness of the sauteed onions and peppers – so while the dish was hot enough to satisfy a spicy girl like myself, it wasn’t so overpowering that an average eater would cringe. Heat does have a dominating presence, but the sweet from the onions and peppers does a nice job to balance the flavors.
Also, I think it should be noted the kind of tomato element I used. You could use fresh tomatoes or canned tomatoes, whatever you like best, but I used Newman’s Own Sockarooni Tomato Sauce because it has red and green bell peppers already incorporated in the sauce. This was a great decision on my part (YAY me!), because the sauce only complimented the sweetness from the peppers, and provided and even stronger pepper presence – which is what this dish is all about.
Hot Peperonata (serves 2)
1/2 yellow onion
3 cloves garlic
3 medium Italian sweet peppers
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper
red pepper flakes
1/2 jar Newman’s Own Sokarooni Sauce
3 cups (about 1/2 1 lb. box) rotini pasta
1. Chop onion, slice garlic and cut peppers into strips.
2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add onions, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Saute for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and peppers, cook for 5 minutes. Add tomato sauce and parsley, cover and simmer until peppers are soft, about 10-15 minutes.
3. Cook pasta as directed. Drain and pour pasta into skillet of peperonata sauce and mix thoroughly. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately with Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.