Tried and tested: Red pepper linguine

Next in my series of tried and tested online recipes is a super simple meat free pasta dish. This red pepper linguine was recommended by a friend and boy is it a good one.

It ticks all the right boxes for a post-work meal – ridiculously easy to make, pretty much ready in the time it takes to boil some pasta, darn tasty, reasonably economical and adaptable.

I mentioned adaptable because I think it’s important to know how a recipe can still work even if you don’t have all the ingredients, or if you fancy making more of a dish. Remember, a recipe is a guideline and not a set of rules.

I don’t usually have walnuts in the store cupboard since we’re not keen, but we do often have hazelnuts, and Grana Padano is our Italian hard cheese of choice rather than Parmesan since it is cheaper and has a more mellow flavour. And, if you’re watching your carb intake, why not do as my friend does and combine the pasta with courgetti?

The dish sounded great but I felt it needed a bit of contrasting texture and thought that pangrattato would be the perfect way to do that. Pangrattato, is the Italian word for breadcrumbs, sounds so much more elegant! They’re often given a flavour boost with garlic, herbs and lemon. Serve with a simply dressed green salad for a bit of freshness.

Red pepper linguine with pangrattato

Serves 2

Ingredients Equipment to have ready
200g linguine or spaghetti Food processor
75g hazelnuts Large saucepan
2 roasted red peppers from a jar (the ones from Lidl are good and cheaper than most) Mug or jug
50 ml olive oil plus 2 tbsp for the breadcrumbs Fine grater
2 cloves garlic, one roughly chopped and one crushed Sieve
25g Grana Padano or Parmesan, grated plus a little extra for serving Dessert spoon
3 dessert spoons breadcrumbs Tablespoon measure or tablespoon
Zest of a lemon, finely grated Small frying pan
2 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
Salt and pepper

Method

  1. Put a large pan of salted water on to boil and cook the pasta according to the packet instructions. When the pasta is cooked, drain and reserve some of the cooking water in a mug or jug. Return the pasta to the pan.
  2. Meanwhile, put the hazelnuts in a food processor and blitz until you have small pieces.
  3. Add the red pepper, 50ml of olive oil, roughly chopped garlic clove, and 25g Grana Padano to the food processor and blitz until very fine. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Put a small frying pan on the heat, add the 2 tbsp olive oil and toast the breadcrumbs until crispy. Take off the heat and stir through the garlic, lemon zest and parsley.
  5. Stir the red pepper mixture through the pasta, adding a little of the reserved cooking water to loosen the sauce. Warm through on a low heat if needed.
  6. Serve in a bowl topped with the pangrattato and a little grated Grana Padano.

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