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    Baked Spaghetti with Toasted Peppers

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    Baked Spaghetti with Toasted Peppers

    In the poor regions of southern Italy, toasted breadcrumbs were, and often still are, used as a substitute for Parmesan or Pecorino. In this delicious pasticcio – baked dish – of spaghetti and peppers, they add a tasty crunch. This dish will feed a crowd with ease.

    • Preparation time: 25 minutes
    • Cooking time: 45 minutes
    • Total time: 1 hour 10 minutes 60 minutes 10 minutes

    Serves: 10

    Ingredients

    • 10 large yellow and red peppers
    • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
    • 180 ml extra virgin olive oil
    • 700 g dried spaghetti
    • 20g flat leaf parsley, chopped
    • 150 g soft white breadcrumbs
    • 2 small dried chillies, chopped
    • 200 g pitted black olives
    • 3 tbsp capers, rinsed and drained

    Method

    1. Preheat the grill to high. Put the peppers under the grill for about 8 minutes, turning frequently until they are blackened and charred all over. Leave to cool slightly, covered with foil to keep the steam in and loosen the skins. Peel them, using a small knife, and wipe with kitchen paper. Do not wash them or they will lose that delicious burnt flavour. Cut each pepper in half vertically and remove and discard the white core and the seeds. Now cut each half into strips approximately 2cm wide.
    2. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4. Sauté the garlic in 90ml oil until palest golden. Add the peppers and sauté for a few minutes, stirring.
    3. Bring a 5 litre pan of salted water to the boil (use 2 pots if you don’t have one big enough) and cook the spaghetti for about 7 minutes. Drain the pasta while still very al dente, return to the pot and dress with 2–3 tbsp oil.
    4. Meanwhile, fry the parsley, breadcrumbs and chilli in the remaining oil for about 5 minutes, turning them over until they are a lovely golden colour. Mix in the olives and capers.
    5. Oil a large oven dish and cover with a layer of spaghetti, then a layer of peppers and finally a scattering of the breadcrumb mixture. Repeat these three layers, finishing with the breadcrumbs. Bake for about 20 minutes, then remove from the oven and leave to rest for at least 5 minutes before you bring it to the table.

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