- 8 ounces linguine
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 large red bell peppers (14 to 16 ounces), stemmed, seeded, cut into 1/3-inch cubes
- 16 Kalamata olives, pitted, quartered
- 3 large garlic cloves, pressed
- 1/4 teaspoon (generous) dried crushed red pepper
- 1 1/4 cups chopped fresh basil, divided
- 1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese plus additional for passing
- 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
PASTA TIPS The keys to perfect al dente pasta every time: For a pound, use a pot that’s at least eight quarts. When the water has boiled, salt it well. After adding the pasta to the water, stir so it won’t stick. When the pasta begins to soften, taste. Tender but firm is the goal. Bite into a piece—see a starchy line in the center? Keep the pot boiling. Finally, drain the pasta, but don’t rinse: The starch helps the sauce adhere.
- Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid.
- Meanwhile, heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add bell peppers, olives, garlic, and crushed red pepper. Sauté until bell peppers are tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Add pasta, 1/2 cup reserved pasta cooking liquid, 1 cup basil, 1 cup cheese, and vinegar. Toss until sauce coats pasta, adding more reserved cooking liquid by 1/4 cupfuls if dry, about 1 minute. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup basil and serve, passing additional cheese.
Recipe and photo from August 2010 issue of bon appetit.