Cutting the peppers into strips and cooking them until they're tender but still holding their shape allows them to twist and turn around the fusilli, clinging to the noodles like sauce. In addition, the pine nuts add richness to the plate, which--like all good pasta dishes--tastes greater than the sum of its parts. Prep and Cook Time: 40 minutes.
2 pounds red bell peppers, cored, seeded, and cut into thin strips
2 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves
1/3 cup pine nuts
2 tablespoons butter, divided
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon plus 1 tbsp. salt, divided
1/2 sweet onion, thinly sliced
3/4 pound fusilli
1 cup crumbled feta cheese, divided
How to Make It
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Chop garlic and set aside. Roughly chop oregano leaves and set aside.
In a large frying pan over medium heat, toast pine nuts, stirring, until golden, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside. In the same pan, melt 1 tbsp. butter with 2 tsp. olive oil. Increase heat to high and add half of the peppers and 1/4 tsp. salt. Cook peppers, stirring frequently, until soft and browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer peppers to a plate with a slotted spoon, leaving as much of the butter and oil in the pan as possible. Repeat with remaining peppers, 1/4 tsp. salt, and sweet onions. Remove frying pan from heat and reserve.
Add remaining 1 tbsp. salt and fusilli to boiling water and cook until pasta is tender to the bite, 5 to 10 minutes. Drain and transfer to a large bowl.
Meanwhile, heat reserved frying pan over medium-high heat, add remaining 1 tsp. olive oil and the chopped garlic, and cook until fragrant but not browned, about 1 minute. Add reserved peppers and pine nuts. Cook, stirring, until well combined. Add pepper mixture and reserved oregano to cooked fusilli and toss to combine. Add 1/2 cup feta cheese and remaining 1 tbsp. butter. Toss until butter melts and everything is well combined. Divide among 6 plates or pasta bowls. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup feta cheese and serve immediately.