Fussili with 3 peppers and spinach

Check out this Siamese twin of a chilli!

My first brush with cooking Italian was all thanks to Giada Laurentis and her lovely show - Everyday Italian on Food network. Her simple techniques, few ingredients and ample use of vegetables made me realise how simple Italian cooking can really be.

I remember one of her recipes which had all ingredients from the pantry. Using just pasta, basil, pine nuts and olive oil, she made a most simple yet flavourful dish. When I recreated this in my kitchen, my guests loved the simple no fuss flavours. A whole variety of pastas are used in my kitchen, usually going with the whole wheat variety. Soups, salads or saucy pastas are a hit with both of us. Bread or no bread, a glass of wine and pasta is a delightful dinner for the two of us.

This one uses peppers, basil and spinach for great textures and a ready made pizza sauce for a burst of flavour. This dish that is superb in its colours and super fast to cook (under 30 minutes).

I love the crunchy peppers in every colour and I dedicate them to this week's WHB started by the herb lover, Kalyn.

According to my favourite food for health resource site, bell peppers due to their bright colours are choc-a-block with anti oxidants. Eaten on a regular basis, they are good for heart and lung health. The beta-carotene is good for your eye sight while their vitamin C content prevents osteoarthritis. This peppered pasta is a great way to gather all these health benefits.

Fussili with 3 peppers and spinach
Category - Italian main course, salad
Cooking time - Under 30 minutes
Serves - 2


1 cup Fussili pasta
1 large red, yellow and green pepper each
1 cup spinach leaves, washed and patted dry
Handful of frozen green peas
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh basil
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
5 flakes garlic, peeled and finely chopped
3 tbsp pizza / pasta sauce
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt to taste


1.Boil the pasta according to instructions on pack. Drain and keep aside. You may want to reserve some of the pasta water if you want to add some moisture to the pasta.

2. Wash and cut the peppers into strips. Discard seeds.

3. In a wok, heat the olive oil. Throw in the crushed / chopped garlic and chilli flakes. Stir them around for 30 seconds.

4. Add the peppers, sprinkle some salt and saute for 5-7 minutes till somewhat tender. Top with spinach and basil leaves with the peas. Stir them for 2-3 minutes, till greens have wilted and peas are thawed.

5. Add the cooked pasta to this, sprinkle required amount of salt and the pizza sauce. Serve in a warmed plate for a light anti-oxidant rich supper.

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Malini said...

Nandita, I miss food network and the informative chefs on it. Some were just noise and show while the others like Giada made programs that really made some sense.


Anita said...

Seems simple alright. These are the kinds of recipes that are a pleasure because you can make them any day and everyday with the stuff you may already have.

And the whole-wheat pastas do not cost an arm and a leg?

Jaya said...

dear Nandita,
I also love pasta, looks so delicious, Italian Cuisine is new thing for me,I have yet to understand the delecacies ,but this one is sure heart stealing ...

Anonymous said...

I love giada's recipes too and have tried many of it. We are italian food lovers. :)
Pasta with all those pepppers looks so good.

rooma said...

Isn't that nice and simple..... I make this so often.... its bliss to indulge in foods like this. :) I am game for anyhting italian.... thanks to my hubby. :)

Anupama said...

Great dish nandita. Very tasty and healthy. I am a great pasta fan myself. Recently I ate Ravioli for the first time and am totally hooked on to it.

Katie said...

This looks wonderful - and I'm so glad to see that you didn't 'skin' the peppers, I never bother and I think they are tastier and healthier. I'm just starting to fine 'semi-complet' pasta. What a treat!

Kalyn said...

Your twisty chile pepper is a great introduction here! Very yummy. I love bell peppers, especially the red, yellow and orange ones. One of my favorite stores here sells them in packs with all three colors! This sounds like a very healthy dish, especially with your addition of spinach.

Anonymous said...

Hi nandita,
Good info on those red & yellow bell peppers. Loved that chilli :)

Puspha said...

Wer did u find this or these chilli/es?

Seema said...

hi nandita:
nice blog ...i am not a great pasta lover and so i have been in search of something delicious that will make me love pasta's and this recipe of yours looks like its gonna make me love pasta....lookes yummy ...will try it out soon
Seema Bhat

Seema said...

hi nandita:
nice blog ...i am not a great pasta lover and so i have been in search of something delicious that will make me love pasta's and this recipe of yours looks like its gonna make me love pasta....lookes yummy ...will try it out soon
Seema Bhat

Monisha said...

Looks delicious! Giada and Rachel Ray both would be very proud of you, great italian under 30 minutes :)!

Saffron said...

lovely! simple and tasty. Pasta, veggies, garlic, basil...what's not to like? right? I love pasta with veggies any day of the week and your version looks fabulous!


tony said...

Hi mandira!! Long since you have tagged huh!!! Here is one- Cooking for a crowd Meme

How are you doing?

Mallika said...

Loving the idea of bell peppers having all that goodness. Great recipe, thanks. I can see myself cooking a big pot for dinner and bringing leftovers for lucnh at work!

Mallika said...

Great recipe for dinner and then leftover lunch at work! Thanks...

Anonymous said...

ooh yumm! you make it sound so good. i LOVE pasta and vegetables, and CHEESE oven baked. :))))

Nandita said...

Guys guys that twisty chilli was an accidental find....it is our regular Indian green chilli, this one's malformed!

Thanks for liking this recipe, such veggie loaded pastas are regular weeknight dinners

ANita, i picked up a lot of whole wheat pastas from London, Tescos has them very reasonably priced. In mumbai i get it from Fabindia organics...try your local dilli wala fab india, u'll get organic whole grain pasta, its fantastic, all for 50 bucks...not much na!

ces said...

hi nandita!
this looks yum! i looove giadda and her elegant way of cooking the simplest italian dishes...

Shruti said...

Hi Nandita, found your blog through "Tambrahm Rage Cooks" today and loved it. Your writing is warm and personal and the recipe index almost unending. I am sure this will be one of my go to places for recipes from now on. Thanks for the awesome work!

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