Pasta peperonata is an Italian summer classic. This recipe features a flavored tomato sauce made with sweet bell peppers and other mediterranean favorites like olives and capers. Definitely something to try and enjoy any weeknight dinner.
Pasta peperonata is a dish I made often at home in the summer season. Bell peppers and tomatoes are at peak these days and we enjoy having them in almost every meal.
I am happy to propose today this recipe because my mother in law loves my version and that my friend, is a lot to say from an Italian mamma!
What is pasta peperonata?
Pasta peperonata is made using the italian traditional side-dish peperonata as a condiment for any kind of pasta. Peperonata can be made in various ways, the one I am proposing to you today is the italian southern style, which is made with capers and olives.
You can also make the peperonata sauce ahead and store it in the fridge for up to 4 days. Just make sure to place it on an air-tight container.
- Bell peppers. Red and yellow for the classic peperonata sauce and also because those are the sweetest. Green peppers have a bitter taste that I don’t like in this recipe, but of course, is up to you if you want to use those too.
- Tomatoes. Fresh homemade or a good quality canned sauce.
- Onions. White or golden, I like to slice them as finely as possible.
- Olives. I prefer black, but also green olives are a good option.
- Capers. If you using capers preserved in salt, don’t forget to give them a good rinse before using them.
- Herbs & seasoning. Lots of basil, oregano, pepper and salt.
- Oil. No options here, a good extra virgin olive oil is all you need.
- Pasta. The type you prefer, I love spaghetti but also fusilli are my fav option.
Step by step recipe + Video
In a large sauté pan heat 4 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add peppers and sprinkle with a pinch of salt, then sauté for about 5-6 minutes.
Stir in onions and keep cooking until softened. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute until fragrant. Cover with a lid, turn heat to the minimum and cook for 8-10 minutes or until peppers are al dente.
Turn the heat to medium high then pour tomate sauce, water, olives and capers. Season with oregano, salt and peppers.
Bring to simmer, low the heat and let it cook -stirring every now and then- until peppers are done and the sauce has been reduced into a thick stew. Let it sit while you cook the pasta.
Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Add salt and cook pasta al dente (check out the package instructions).
Add basil, then pasta. Grate some parmigiano reggiano on top then give it a good mix until pasta is evenly coated with sauce.
Serve immediately sprinkling a generous amount of grated parmigiano cheese.
MORE SUMMER DISHES YOU MIGHT LIKE TO TRY
- Classic macaroni salad – A classic recipe with a Mexican touch: Pickled jalapenos. Unbelievable delicious.
- Spaghetti Alla Nerano – A traditional Italian recipe for a super simple, yet delicious zucchini pasta.
- Tejuino – a fermented mexican drink – Get to know one of the most famous Mexican drinks, perfect for the warmest months.
- Italian rice salad – Amazingly flavored, easy recipe, the most loved Italian summer salad.
Watch How To Make IT
- 14 oz (400 g) dry pasta (any type)
- 2 large (680 g) bell peppers (yellow and red) (seeded and cut into strips)
- 1 ⅔ cups (400 g) plain tomato sauce
- 1 ⅓ cups (150 g) white or golden onions (finely sliced)
- ½ cup (100 g) black olives (whole and pitted)
- 3 Tbsp capers (rinsed)
- basil leaves
- 1 ½ tsp dried oregano
- 4 Tbsp (45 g) extra virgin olive oil
- salt & pepper (to taste)
- In a large sauté pan heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add peppers and sprinkle with a pinch of salt, then sauté for about 8-10 minutes.
- Stir in onions and keep cooking until softened (about 4 minutes). Add garlic and cook until fragrant.
- Cover with a lid, turn heat to the minimum and cook for 8-10 minutes or until peppers are al dente.
- Turn the heat to medium high then pour tomate sauce, 1 cup of water, olives and capers. Season with oregano, salt and pepper.
- Bring to simmer, low the heat and let it cook -stirring every now and then- until peppers are soft and the sauce has been reduced into a thick stew (30-40 minutes). *add one more cup of water if needed*
- Turn off the heat and let it sit while you cook the pasta.
- Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Add salt and cook pasta al dente (check the package instructions).
- Add basil, then pasta. Grate some parmigiano reggiano on top then give it a good mix until pasta is evenly coated with sauce.
- Serve immediately sprinkling more grated parmigiano cheese.
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Maricruz Avalos Flores is a Mexican cook and photographer living in Italy where she shares authentic Mexican & Italian recipes that can be easily made at home using easy-to-find ingredients.