Prep 20 mins
Cook 50 mins
Pasta Con Peperoni Cruschi E Molica Fritta. The secret to making this hearty Basilicatan specialty is to fry the dried peppers to a delicate crisp. This recipe was first published in Saveur in issue #120.
- 1⁄4 lb country bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1⁄2 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 8 peperoni cruschi di senise bell peppers or 8 guajillos bell peppers or 8 pasillas bell peppers, stemmed and seeded
- 4 anchovies, chopped
- 6 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 pints cherry tomatoes
- kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 lb pasta, such as fusilli
- Heat oven to 325˚F.
- Bake bread cubes until hard, about 15 minutes.
- Transfer to a food processor; process into coarse crumbs.
- Heat 1/4 cup oil in a 12" skillet over medium heat.
- Add crumbs; cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, 8–10 minutes.
- Transfer crumbs to a bowl.
- Wipe out skillet; heat remaining oil over medium-high heat.
- Add chiles and toast, turning once, about 45 seconds.
- Transfer to a plate; let cool.
- Tear chiles into 1" pieces.
- Reserve oil in skillet.
- Set reserved skillet over medium heat and add anchovies; cook, breaking them apart with a wooden spoon, for 1 minute.
- Add garlic and tomatoes; cover; cook, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes soften and burst, about 10 minutes.
- Mash tomatoes and season with salt and pepper.
- Remove from heat and set aside.
- Bring a 6-qt. pot of salted water to a boil.
- Add pasta; cook until al dente, about 10 minutes.
- Drain, reserving 1⁄4 cup water.
- Transfer pasta and water to reserved skillet of tomatoes over high heat.
- Toss to combine; cook until sauce thickens, 1–2 minutes.
- Transfer pasta to a platter; sprinkle with bread crumbs and chiles; drizzle with a little oil.