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Pasta with pepper and tomato sauce

  • 33 minutes
  • Easy
  • First Courses
Pasta that captures the strong flavors of Calabria.

Ingredients: Per 4 servings

  • 1 lb spaghetti
  • lb tomatoes, fresh
  • 2 bell peppers
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 5 oz guanciale (or bacon)
  • 8 leaves of basil
  • 2 oz grated Pecorino cheese
  • 1 oz extra virgin olive oil
  • salt

Preparation:

Cube the guanciale (or bacon).

Wash the peppers, remove the seeds and white part inside. Chop peppers and cook in a pot of boiling water for 2 minutes.

Use a pairing knife to make a small X at the base of each tomato. Blanch in a pot of boiling water for 40 seconds. Then, emerge the toamtoes in cold water to cool them down. Peel, quarter and remove the seeds. Puree the tomatoes and peppers, using a food mill or food processor.

Heat a plan over medium heat. Add oil and, when hot, add peeled garlic and guanciale. As soon as the ingredients are golden, add the tomato and pepper puree. Cook for 10 minutes, then add the basil.

In the meantime, cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling, salted water. Check the box for cooking time. Once cooked, drain the pasta and toss with the pasta sauce. Sprinkle with grated pecorino and serve immediately.

Food History

No one knows exactly when pasta was created, but it is believed to have been prepared for the first time somewhere between Europe and Asia, over 7,000 years ago. It is likely that at that time, a migratory population became stationary and planted wheat. They learned to grind it into flour and discovered that by mixing it with water, one could make a tasty food. Fresh pasta has, therefore, existed for a very long time. Even the Etruscans used to make a large sheet of pasta, which they would cut into ribbons, called “lagnon.”
Dried pasta, the most commonly used pasta today, was created by the Arabs who used to dry pasta in the sun in order to increase its “shelf-life,” allowing them to travel with it.
Contrary to the belief that Marco Polo brought pasta to Italy, returning from a trip to China, it was the Arabs to introduce pasta to the Italians, or more specifically to the Sicilians. In the XII century, the first pasta factory in Europe was built in Palermo and over the course of a short period of time, the city became the center of pasta production in the Mediterranean.

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