An old ad inspired Rach to stuff her peppers with pasta, and here she makes them using John's favorite: bucatini! The addition of Calabrian chili paste gives these a nice kick.
- 8 bell peppers, multi-colors
- Non-aerosol extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO) spray
- Salt and pepper
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 4 to 5 anchovies, chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 round tablespoon Calabrian chili paste, or 2 finely chopped red chili peppers
- 4 tablespoons sundried tomato paste or tomato paste
- 4 tablespoons capers, drained
- ½ cup pitted oil-cured or other black olives, chopped
- ½ cup dry vermouth or white wine
- 1 pound (500 grams) bucatini
- 1 cup packed fresh herbs, mint and parsley, chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh oregano, or 2 teaspoons dried
- 1 ball fresh mozzarella, fine dice
Heat a large pot of water to boil for pasta, 6 quarts.
Preheat oven to 400˚F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut tops off peppers about ¼ of the way down and reserve tops, then remove seeds and ribs, spray with cooking spray, and season with salt and pepper. Arrange the peppers and tops on the baking sheet. Roast the peppers about 20 minutes, then remove from oven.
Heat a large skillet with EVOO, 4 turns of the pan, over medium heat, stir in the anchovies and melt anchovies into oil, add the garlic, chili paste, sundried tomato paste, capers and olives, stir a minute or 2, then add the vermouth or wine, reduce a minute more and remove from heat.
Salt water and cook bucatini 1 minute less than directions for al dente. Reserve about a half cup of cooking water, then drain.
Toss bucatini with sauce, starchy cooking water, herbs and half the cheese. Remove from heat and allow mixture to cool slightly, until cool enough to handle.
Fill the peppers with pasta and top with a little more cheese in each pepper, place in oven 10 minutes more to melt cheese a bit and settle pasta. To serve, place lids on peppers letting pasta peek out. Serve extra bucatini around or alongside the peppers.