Roasted Red Peppers with Burrata: An Easy Italian Dish
My revelatory moment with red peppers occurred some years ago while visiting my husband’s Italian relatives in Pietraroja, a mountain village 50 miles northeast of Naples. Cousin Concetta’s red pepper on her antipasti platter was so simple: roasted, skinned, cut into strips, glistening with generous glugs of olive oil and seasoned with salt. Served with grilled bread, it was divine, and a reminder that peak-season produce doesn’t need much fuss.
The recipes below are slight variations of Red Pepper Pasta from Melissa Copeland’s new “30-Minute Frugal Vegan Recipes” and Roast Peppers with Burrata and ‘Nduja from Diana Henry’s forthcoming cookbook “From the Oven to the Table.” Both dishes are fast, easy ways to let sweet red peppers shine on the plate while leaving lasting memories in your mouth.
3 to 4 large red bell peppers
4 cloves garlic, unpeeled (use more if you love garlic)
10 ounces dried pasta of choice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
Optional garnishes: several tablespoons nutritional yeast, your favorite fresh herb, Parmesan cheese
Bring a pot of water to a boil and turn on your broiler.
Slice the bell peppers in half from top to bottom. Remove the stem, seeds and membranes.
Place the peppers on a rimmed baking pan, skin side up. Open them up and press them down so that they are more or less flat against the pan. Place the unpeeled garlic cloves wherever there’s space on the pan.
Broil for 13 to 15 minutes, or until the peppers are soft, smell delicious and the skin is black and charred in some places.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the package directions.
Transfer the peppers to a paper bag. Close the bag tightly and let them steam for 5 minutes.
Using your fingers, a knife or the tines of a fork, carefully peel and discard the loose skin and blackened bits off the peppers.
Squeeze the roasted garlic out of their skins. Transfer the garlic and peppers to a blender and begin blending on low speed. Once broken down, slowly drizzle in the olive oil with the blender running. Increase the speed to high and blend until smooth and creamy. Blend in the vinegar and salt.
Combine the cooked pasta with the sauce and serve sprinkled with nutritional yeast, your favorite fresh herb and/or Parmesan cheese, if desired. Serves 4.