Rigatoni with Red Peppers
Cooking the rigatoni twice--first in boiling water and then in the red pepper stewing liquid--infuses it with sweet and rich pepper flavor.
- 3/4 pound rigatoni
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 large garlic cloves, lightly smashed
- 3 large red bell peppers--cored, seeded and cut into 2-inch pieces
- 2/3 cup warm water
- 3/4 cup coarsely chopped basil
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the rigatoni and cook, stirring often, until barely al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 1/4 cups of the cooking water.
- 2. Meanwhile, in a large enameled cast-iron casserole, melt the butter in the oil. Add the garlic and peppers, cover and cook over moderately high heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the warm water and a pinch of salt, cover and simmer over low heat until the peppers are tender, about 10 minutes.
- 3. Add the rigatoni and the reserved pasta cooking water to the peppers. Cover and cook over moderately low heat, stirring a few times, until the rigatoni is al dente and the sauce has thickened slightly, about 5 minutes longer. Discard the garlic. Stir in the basil and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a large bowl and serve at once, passing the Parmesan cheese at the table.
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