This is a quick, low budget meal that tastes like it came out of a fancy Italian restaurant. Burnt bell pepper gives it, some what, glamorous smokey flavor.
- 250g whole wheat spaghetti
- 1 big red bell pepper
- 1tbsp olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 2 large tomatoes diced
- 200g cherry tomatoes halved
- 1tsp tomato paste
- 1tsp sweetener (molasses, maple, rice, agave syrup) (optional)
- 1/2tsp oregano
- 1tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2tsp chili flakes (optional)
- 10 kalamata olives halved
- handfull fresh basil leaves
- sea salt, pepper
To make burnt pepper skewer the whole bell pepper onto a long fork (such as carving fork), a skewer or just hold it with thongs over the gas burner on the stove. Let the bell pepper skin char black on all sides. Once it’s all charred, wrap it tightly in parchment paper or foil and let it sit on the counter.
Boil a pot of water while you are prepping the rest on the ingredients for the sauce. Start cooking the pasta the moment you add burnt pepper into the sauce, it should take about the same time to cook spaghetti aldente and finish the sauce.
Heat the oil in a saucepan, add garlic, oregano, paprika and sauté until fragrant. Add the diced tomatoes and the tomato paste and let it cook for few minutes.
Unwrap the pepper and carefully peal the charred skin off. It should come off easily. Remove the stem and seeds and dice up or slice the pepper flesh. Add it to the tomato sauce and cook for few minutes adding a bit of water, about 1/3cup. Add the olives, cherry tomatoes and season with a little salt and pepper. Careful wth the salt as the olives will release their salt too. I like to add a bit of sweetener just to break the acidity but it’s totally optional. Cook for a couple of minutes until all the flavors are combined, add the basil, chili if using and adjust the seasoning.
Reserving a cup of pasta water, drain the spaghetti and add it to the sauce. Add a bit of pasta water if it’s too dry. Mix it really well allowing the spaghetti to soak up the flavor, turn off the heat and serve immediately.
Serves 4 ppl
Victoria Diachkova holds a Plant Based Nutrition Certificate from Collin Campbell Institute for Nutritional Studies. She is a Health Coach and a plant based lifestyle blogger based in Cairo, Egypt. She is also a recipe and menu consultant and shares all her kitchen works on her blog Sincerely V. Victoria is currently taking Food Over Medicine Course developed and led by Dr. Pamela Popper. Her culinary goal is to use primarily local, easily available and accessible ingredients to create healthy, nutritious, easy, quick and delicious meals.
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