Hot! Hot! Hot! This week we’re all over cancer fighting, chemo palate beating spicy food! Our friend Ruth loves all things spicy. Sometimes you can’t even eat her food without having a jug of... milk nearby for salvation. This version of Ruth’s Spicy Pepper Pasta was toned down quite a bit, but it’s still got a great kick. If you are one of those who crave spicy food during chemo this dish is for you. Although great year round as is, if it’s summer go ahead and add in some fresh basil the last minute or so of cooking.
In a large stockpot bring salted water to boil. Put the tomatoes in for 40 to 60 seconds. Remove the tomatoes and rinse under cold water. Peel the tomatoes then deseed and chop them. Set aside.
Add the pasta to the boiling water. Cook until al dente, then drain.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté for one minute. Do not let it burn. Add the crushed red pepper, dried basil (if using fresh add at step 5) and dried oregano. Cook for another minute. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook for 10 minutes stirring occasionally and smashing them against the side of the pan with a fork or spoon.
Add the red peppers and cook for another 10 minutes, or until the peppers are tender.
Turn off the heat. Add the olives and red wine vinegar. Mix well. Stir in the pasta, taste for seasoning and let sit for 5 minutes to let the flavors combine. Top with grated Parmesan cheese and fresh basil, if using.
I’m not against the convenience of canned tomatoes, but for this dish the consistency and taste of fresh tomatoes is important. When tomatoes are out of season, use plum, capri or cherry tomatoes for the best taste.