Pasta with California Pepperonata

Source: Sandy Sonnenfelt, Market Hall Foods

Recipe Type: | Seasons:

This recipe was demonstrated for CUESA’s Market to Table program on September 3, 2016.

Serves 4 to 6


1½ cups California Pepperonata (recipe below)
1 pound pasta
1 tablespoon olive oil
Grated Pecorino Romano or Parmiagiano Reggiano cheese, to finish


To make the pasta sauce: Place the Pepperonata in the bowl of a food processer. Process until somewhat smooth, but leave some texture. In a large sauté pan, warm the olive oil and the processed Pepperonata over low heat.

To prepare the pasta: Cook according to directions on label. When the pasta is ready, drain, saving one cup of pasta water.

To serve: Toss the pasta and ½ cup of pasta water into the Pepperonata. Over medium-high heat, toss the pasta with the sauce, adding more pasta water if necessary. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Transfer to a warm serving bowl and top with a generous amount of grated cheese.

California Pepperonata

This multipurpose condiment is a mainstay in my refrigerator. I use it on sandwiches, in salads, as an accent for chicken or fish, and as a quick pasta sauce. Although I make versions of it throughout the year, when peppers are in season the flavors are spectacular.

Makes approximately 3 cups (makes more than needed for the pasta recipe)


1½ pounds thick-walled peppers (suitable for flame roasting, such as bell pepper, poblano, Corno di Toro)
¾ pound thin-walled peppers (suitable for sautéing, such as Jimmy Nardello), seeds and veins removed and sliced into ¼-inch wide strips
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 small onion, diced (about 1 cup)
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 to 2 tablespoons of your favorite vinegar


To flame-roast the thick-walled peppers: Place the peppers directly on the burner of a gas stove turned to high heat. The peppers will blister and pop. Using tongs, turn the peppers until they are charred all over. Remove from the flame and place in bowl. Cover with a kitchen towel. The peppers will steam, which loosens the charred skin. Allow the peppers to cool. Place the cooled, charred peppers on a cutting board. Holding the stem end, use a paring knife to scrape the skin from the flesh. Cut off the top of the pepper and remove the seeds. Slice or dice the peppers.

To sauté the thin-walled peppers: While the charred peppers are cooling, warm 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until soft and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté 3 minutes. Add the sliced thin-walled peppers and sauté on medium high heat until the peppers start to soften and slightly caramelize, about 10-12 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside

To finish the pepperonata: Combine the prepared peppers together in a large mixing bowl, mixing in the vinegar and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Photo by Lynda Marren.

Farmers Market Ingredients