Some years ago I bought several bell pepper plants at the local farmer’s market in Bethesda; not knowing that they were peppers of different colors. The unexpectedly bright and beautiful harvest was a real pleasant surprise and I made this recipe up to highlight the beauty of the brightly colored peppers. Now I make this for the family every time I find beautiful peppers at the supermarket or the local farmers’ stands.
1. One 12 oz box of tri-color rotini
2. One lb of Italian sausage (I prefer turkey sausage to keep the dish healthy).
3. Three multi colored peppers
4. Three medium sized cloves of garlic
5. One medium sized onion
6. 3-4 tablespoons of good quality extra virgin olive oil
7. One and ½ table spoons of anise seeds.
8. One teaspoon of dried oregano or marjoram
9. One teaspoon of salt
10. ½ teaspoon of freshly grated black pepper
11. One tablespoon of good quality balsamic vinegar
12. 1/3 cup of grated parmesan cheese
13. One teaspoon of red chili flakes (this is entirely optional)
1. Fill a large pasta pot with water and bring to a boil.
2. When the water is boiling add a teaspoon of salt and then the pasta.
3. Cook the pasta and drain it when it is al dente
4. In a separate pan, pour a tablespoon of olive oil and start cooking the sausages
5. While the sausages are cooking, peel and chop the onion and garlic cloves. Slice the onion in thin slices and the same for the garlic cloves.
7. When the casing of the sausage is browned evenly on all sides, cut the sausages into bit sized pieces and continue cooking so that the meat is cooked thoroughly.
8. When the meat is cooked, add the garlic and onions to the pan and stir. If the contents of the pan stick to the bottom of the pan, add a little bit more olive oil and a tablespoon of the pasta water and deglaze the bottom of the pan.
9. After cooking the onions for 3-4 minutes add the pepper slices and stir thoroughly.
10. Add the Balsamic vinegar, oregano, anise seeds and black pepper and stir again.
11. Cover the pan with a lid and cook for another 6-8 minutes.
12. When the vegetables look semi-cooked, add the cooked pasta and stir the contents again.
13. Serve the pasta with some freshly grated parmesan cheese and extra virgin olive oil on top.