Fusili with Red and Yellow Peppers and Curry Leaf Oil

The grilled red and yellow peppers enhance their natural sweetness and adds to the flavour of this simple pasta dish. It also imparts a smoky deliciousness to the dish.

I prepared the peppers on the previous day and refrigerated them overnight. This saves a lot of time. Any short pasta can be used for this recipe.

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I added some spices to give it an interesting twist. I find that spices and pasta go well together. It should just awaken the taste buds and have you salivating for more.

I wanted a herb oil to elevate this simple dish and I decided to try curry leaves. In the recent Masterchef Australia, there was a lot of emphasis on curry leaf. It has a strong but subtle flavour. I was really happy with the results because the curry leaf oil was so flavourful and paired beautifully with the pasta. Absolutely divine.

This recipe has been adapted from Vegetarian published by Hermes House (Consultant Editor Nicola Graimes).

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PREP: 1 hour COOK TIME: 30 minutes SERVES: 4

Ingredients

  • 450 g red and yellow peppers
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 400 g mini fusili or other short pasta
  • Salt to taste
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, to serve

Curry Leaf Oil

  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup curry leaves

Instructions

Place the peppers under a hot grill and turn occasionally until they are blackened and blistered on all sides. Remove and place in a paper bag for 5 minutes.

Peel the peppers and quarter them. Cut the flesh into long thin strips discarding the stem and seeds.

Bring a large pot of water to boil for the pasta. Heat the olive oil in a large pan and add the onions. Cook until they are transparent, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and sautè for about 2 minutes. Add the cumin seeds and stir fry for a minute. Add the chilli powder and coriander powder and mix well. Add salt to taste and the peppers and mix together.

Add salt and pasta to the boiling water and cook until the pasta is tender.

Add about ¼ cup of the pasta cooking water to the onion and pepper mixture. Drain the pasta and add it to the pan with the peppers and cook over moderate heat for 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly. Mix the pasta and the sauce well.

To make the curry leaf oil, heat the oil in a pan and add the curry leaves when it is hot. They will splutter. Remove immediately or they will change colour. Cool and blitz in the blender. Spoon into a serving dish.

Serve hot with the curry leaf oil and Parmesan cheese passed separately.

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