Spirals of pasta with red peppers and chorizo sausage

Red peppers are not red peppers until they have been roasted and had their blistered skins removed. Then they are as different from the unskinned version as autumn apples are from those of spring – ‘fresh’ from the cool store.

The roasting process concentrates the flavours marvellously, compressing what is already something pretty special into something grand, grand, grand. I guess it’s the removal of excess moisture, as well as the slightly plastic skin.

Add a few slices of roasted peppers to pasta tossed with tomatoes, salami – or better, Spain’s staple sausage, the chorizo – and sprinkle about some olives, and you’ve got something very special. There’s another combination which seems to find happiness with red peppers: capers mixed with mildly salted anchovies.

pasta in spirals, or some shape to hold a thick sauce

a thick tomato sauce, flavoured with chilli (see page 256)

a good amount of chorizo sausage, sliced into chunky pieces – This is the very red, very spicy sausage of Spain, prepared pre-cooked, or preserved like salami, or ready to grill. Any of these are right for this dish, but if they have been pre-cooked, make sure they are heated through during assembly.

2 red peppers, roasted or grilled until their skin blisters - This is probably easiest done in a hot oven for about 25 minutes. You’ll know when they are three-quarters done that’s when the kids start arriving in the kitchen asking ‘What’s cooking?’ Allow to cool, then peel and cut them into slivers.

several olives, seeds removed, per person

¼ cup full-flavoured virgin olive oil black pepper Parmesan for grating


Prepare the pasta and the tomato sauce. Make sure the tomato sauce is rich, and thick enough to almost hold onto a vertical spoon.


When the pasta is ready, heat through the sausage, red peppers and olives in the olive oil. Sprinkle with black pepper and pour straight into the tomato sauce.


Toss through the pasta and serve with some Parmesan on the side.

WINE: It depends how heavy-handed you are with the chilli. I would drink a good beer with this – Cascade or Tuborg. Try a young red from the Clare district of South Australia and beside it a tall glass of chilled water (not South Australian).