Caramelised red pepper penne

The secret to this simple Italian classic is to cook the vegetables as slowly as possible so the moisture evaporates and the vegetables become sweet and meltingly tender. 


2–3 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, sliced
2 cloves garlic, sliced
2 red peppers, seeded and sliced
2 orange peppers, seeded and sliced
25g pack fresh basil
300g penne or other pasta shapes
2 tbsp Parmigiano Reggiano, plus extra to serve
Juice of ½ lemon
Chilli flakes, to serve (optional) 


1. Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan and cook the onion, garlic and peppers with half of the basil leaves over a very gentle heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally until very tender and golden brown.

2. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pan of boiling water according to the packet instructions. Drain loosely and return to the pan.

3. Stir in the pepper mixture, Parmigiano Reggiano and remaining basil leaves and toss well together. Grind in some black pepper
and add a good squeeze of lemon juice and chilli flakes, to taste. Divide between four pasta bowls and serve with extra cheese for sprinkling over.

Cook's tip
Parmigiano Reggiano is not suitable for vegetarians but a sprinkling of finely crumbled feta makes a delicious substitute in this dish. Or leave out the cheese and try adding 2 tbsp capers or coarsely chopped black olives instead. 

  • Preparation time: 15 minutes
  • Cooking time: 30 minutes

Serves: 4

Nutritional Info

Typical values per serving:

Energy 1,949kJ
Fat 13.8g
Saturated Fat 4g
Carbohydrate 68.9g
Sugars 14.6g
Protein 15.7g
Salt 0.3g
Fibre 6.5g

222mg vitamin C

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4 stars

Average user rating Based on 16 ratings

This recipe was first published in Thu Feb 26 09:05:00 GMT 2015.