Summer Capsicum Pasta Salad

Summer is here in full bloom people, days are hot and with the last Christmas shopping to be done, days are rather sweaty too. I can tell you, the last thing on my mind at dinner time is to slave away in front of a hot stove to cook a proper meal. I have also been extremely busy with catering jobs so our dinners have consisted mainly of
salads, sandwiches, wraps, antipasti and grilling, but sometimes something a little more substantial is needed, especially when hubby goes cycling and that’s when I grab a packet of pasta and see what else I have in the fridge….
I remember back in the days at teacher’s college that I had to do Art as a subject and somewhere during our course we had to paint a still life consisting of capsicums. Although I was horrible at this 3 dimensional thinking, my eyes were opened to the sheer beauty of capsicums. Maybe what made me so despondent was the fact that I couldn’t capture the perfect shapes and colors on my canvas. Although some of my fellow students did an excellent job at capturing the beauty of these vegetables, NO ONE  could capture the fresh, clean smell of a capsicum when sliced open….and that my dear friends I CAN do. So I guess this is revenge cooking! I implore you to stop at the capsicums next time you visit the market. Touch them, close your eyes and feel them, they are so perfect! Then take some home, cut them open and smell them, cook with them and if  inspiration hits you, paint or draw them. Until then, enjoy this Summer Capsicum Pasta Salad!

Summer Capsicum Pasta Salad


500gr fusilli pasta – cooked according to packet instructions
1 big green capsicum
1 big red capsicum
1 big yellow capsicum
1big orange capsicum
1 medium onion
1 small chili – optional
1 410gr tin of chopped tomatoes
2 heaped tbsp of tomato paste
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 heaped tbsp sugar
about 125ml red wine
fresh rocket or basil
olive oil

Peel and slice the onion finely. If you have the big round capsicums, dice them in biggish chunks, but try and buy the ones that are slightly longer in shape, almost like a giant chili and then just cut them in rings, it makes a beautiful presentation in the final salad. Heat the olive oil in a pan and saute the onion for about 1 minute. Add the sliced capsicums and saute them too until they are still firm and crisp but not raw. Add all the other ingredients, except the fresh herbs and cook for a few minutes(about 10min) until the sauce has reduced some. Taste and adjust to your liking. For a warm pasta supper, simply grate some Parmesan over the top and enjoy or in summer, cool the sauce and them mix with the pasta. Serve with Parmesan shavings and fresh herbs such as rocket or basil.

Cook’s Notes.

– add pitted black olives to the pasta
– add chopped anchovies
– use different kinds of pasta shapes
– leave the pasta, reduce the sauce even more and serve on crusty crostini

Other pasta recipes for you to try!

Penne with Summer Vegetables

It is Monday again  which means it is Meatless Monday! 

With all the grilling and festivities during the next few weeks, why not change one day out of your week to go Meatless…..
I am sending this delcious Summer Salad over to them. Enjoy!