This Pepperoni Spaghetti is my absolute favorite dish. The recipe was originally taken from a book called Pasta, but I've tweeked it so much since that it has gradually become my own. It is a great recipe for substitutions. You can add almost anything you like. I hardly ever make it the exact same way twice.
(serves 2 with a large appetite)
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1/3 red bell pepper, chopped into bite size pieces
1/3 green bell pepper, chopped into bite size pieces
1/2 small white onion, chopped
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional, provides an extra kick of heat)
1 can diced tomatoes (I prefer unspiced, but any kind will do. Fire roasted are excellent as well.)
2 tbsp tomato paste
4 oz. pepperoni slices, cut in half
freshly grated parmesan cheese and parsley to top
Any kind of pasta will work in this recipe. Penne is a wonderful option (and was used in the original recipe), and farfalle (bowties) are also great. Olive oil can be substituted for butter if you wish. Feel free to play around with the spices to see what you like. It's also a good idea to try adding a different type of meat. I've used both Italian and Polish sausages before with success, but the pepperoni is still my favorite.
1. Begin boiling water for pasta. Add a pinch of salt.
2. Melt butter in skillet over medium heat.
3. Add chopped peppers, onions, and spices. Cook until onions begin to brown and peppers start to soften. At this point, add your pasta to the water and cook as directed on packaging.
4. Add diced tomatoes, tomato paste and pepperoni to skillet. Stir until well mixed. Bring to a simmer and then reduce heat. Continue to simmer on low heat until pasta is fully cooked. (About ten minutes. The longer you cook the sauce, the softer the peppers will be. You can adjust cooking time at your disgretion.)
5. Drain cooked pasta and add to skillet of sauce. Toss to combine. Transfer to serving dish.
6. Garnish with parmesan and parsley. Add as much or as little as you like. Provide extra parmesan for topping.
NOTE: If you're adverse to the sometimes large chunks of tomato, toss the tomatoes into a food processor (or if you don't have one of those, try using an electric hand mixer) beforehand for a smoother tomato base.