Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Spaghetti with Basil & Bell Peppers

This dish is my daughter’s creation and I had absolutely no part in its preparation. The only major part I played is in photographing it and eating it!

When she platted the dish and was in the process of serving, it looked so attractive and tempting, that I could not help but photograph it. And when that was done, I heartily joined everyone in relishing and eating it to our heart's content. It was delicious!

Though this was prepared sometime back, I was not able to post it due to some reason or the other. Anyway, here it is now!

Spaghetti with Basil & Bell Pepper


250 gms.
Bell Peppers
3 (preferably yellow, green & Red)
Tomatoes (ripe)
3  (roughly chopped)
Red onion
1 large sliced
1 tsp
Garlic cloves
3 (peeled and crushed)
Fresh Italian basil leaves
A small bunch
Pasta seasoning
1-2 tsps
Jalapeno Peppers
Pitted olives (black/green)
Olive oil
3-4 tsps
Dried Red chillies
2 (chopped into flakes with seeds)
As per taste
Soya Flakes
½ cup

Method :

1. Place dried pasta in large vessel, cover with water according to pack.
    Add salt. Cook according to instructions on pack.

2.While it boils, cut bell pepper into large flat chunks. Discard seeds. Trim fleshy
    white bits off. Place on a grill and over low flame, such that the outer skin starts to
    char (turns black).  Turn them over and after few minutes remove from flame and cut
    off a few bite size pieces for garnish. To retain the smoky taste, don’t peel off the
    blackened bits. Set the rest aside.

3. In pan, add olive oil (not extra virgin - save that for non-cooking uses). Add garlic,
    roughly sliced red onion and the red chilli flakes with seeds for heat.
   Add some sugar to caramelize the onion. When onions start to brown, add the roughly
   chopped tomatoes ( can also place the tomatoes in the oven instead ).
   Add salt to taste (add much less than you normally would). When tomatoes start to
   soften, add remaining grilled peppers ( not the reserved ) and switch off gas.

4. To add protein for vegetarians -
    Place soya flakes in hot water according to instructions on pack,
    squeeze out water and add to ingredients in pan.
5. Put all contents of pan into mixer. Add a few olives to the mixer. Whizz for a short

6. Meanwhile pasta should be al dente (firm but not hard), switch off gas and tip pasta
    into colander (place a large bowl under colander to collect the water) to strain and pour
    chilled water over it (dont delay this or pasta will go soft ). Retain some of the pasta
    water (this is essentially starch with salt, this can be used to add to the sauce instead of water).

7. Now pour mixer contents into pan, place on low heat, add pasta seasoning, add pasta
    liquid / water as required to thicken / thin the sauce. Taste and add salt if needed. Add
    sliced olives or whole if you like to the pan, add jalapenos if using. Add fresh basil
    (chopped into strips). Reserve a few whole leaves for garnish. Switch off gas.

8. To serve, place pasta in bowl, add extra virgin olive oil and toss it to ensure even
    coating. Pour piping hot sauce over pasta and garnish with reserved grilled pepper and

Serves: 4

Note :
  • For special occasions use the expensive imported Italian pasta (MTR and Bambino are cheaper and faster to cook, but they lose their shape and turn to mush if you are not careful).
  • Dont make the mistake of using tulsi or indian basil as a replacement, I have tried this once, it will taste quite strange.
  • Use cuban oregano instead (but add it early finely chopped and let it cook through)


  1. Wish can have that platter ...looks so delish

  2. very delicious spaghetti, flavourful one..

  3. yummy yummy, just pass on that plate

  4. wow delicious and yummy spaghetti,luks so tempting...

  5. Delicious pasta with bell peppers.. Yummy!!
    You have a lovely space and glad to follow you:-))
    Do drop by my space too ..
    Erivum puliyum