Conchiglie con Peperoni Verdi, Rossi e Gialli alla Panna

Shells with Green, Red, and Yellow Peppers and Cream

My Family hums happily when I produce this dish. The different colors of peppers are immediately appealing to the eye, but they are not merely decorative. The pungently herbal green pepper neatly points up the riper sweetness of the red and the mellowness of the yellow. All the peppers are diced small and cooked over a flavor base of butter and onion. When done they are bound with thoroughly reduced cream. That is all there is to this sauce.

In the unlikely event there is sauce left over, or if you’ve made more than you intend to use on the pasta, try it the following day on veal scaloppine or sliced chicken breasts. Sauté the meat in butter and vegetable oil, when nearly done add the peppers sauce, and cook for a minute more while turning the veal or chicken in the sauce.

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 cup onion chopped not too fine
  • 1 cup green bell peppers diced into ½-inch cubes
  • 1 cup red bell peppers diced into ½-inch cubes
  • 1 cup yellow bell peppers, if available, diced into ½-inch cubes (if not available, increase the red peppers by the same amount)
  • Salt
  • Black pepper in a grinder
  • cup heavy cream
  • 1 pound conchiglie (pasta shells)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • ½ cup freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano (Parmesan)

Method

  1. In a 10- to 12-inch sauté pan put the butter, oil, and chopped onion and turn on the heat to medium. Sauté the onion until it becomes colored a pale gold.
  2. Add all the diced peppers, turn up the heat to medium high, and cook until tender, turning them from time to time.
  3. Add salt and generous grindings of pepper, stir well, add the cream, and turn up the heat to high. Cook until the cream is reduced by half.
  4. Drop the pasta into a pot of abundant boiling salted water. Cook until it is barely tender but firm to the bite. Drain and toss immediately in a warm bowl with the peppers and cream and all their pan juices. Sprinkle with parsley and grated cheese, toss again, and serve at once.

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