Mediterranean and Basil Pasta


  • Serves four (but easily halved for two).
  • Takes 35–40 minutes.
  • If you have any leftovers, you can eat them cold as pasta salad. Just moisten with extra olive oil if needed.
  • Warning: If you neglect to include the Parmesan cheese, this recipe becomes v✽getarian.


  • 2 red peppers, seeded and cut into chunks
  • 2–3 red onions, cut into wedges
  • 2 mild red chillies, seeded and diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tsp golden caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1kg/2lb 4oz small ripe tomatoes, quartered (or halved, if very small)
  • 350g/12oz dried pasta
  • a handful of fresh basil leaves (a very important ingredient: don't be tempted to skip it)
  • 2 tbsp grated parmesan


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas 6/fan 180°C (or buy an Aga and use the bottom roasting shelf).
  2. Scatter the peppers, red onions, chillies and garlic in a large roasting tin (it does need to be a large tin, even though it might not look it to start with).
  3. Sprinkle with sugar, drizzle over the oil, and season well with salt and pepper.
  4. Roast for 15 minutes, then…
  5. Put the pasta on to boil, and…
  6. Toss the tomatoes in with the roasting vegetables and roast for another 15 minutes until everything is starting to soften and look golden.
  7. When the pasta is cooked, drain well.
  8. Remove the vegetables from the oven, tip in the pasta, and toss lightly together.
  9. Tear the basil leaves and sprinkle on top.
  10. Sprinkle with parmesan and serve.

One comment

  1. One of my current favourites is slow-roast shoulder of lamb. The only down-side to this dish is that it inevitably serves a small coach-party.

    I can't help thinking that the remnants of the previous day's slow-roast shoulder added with the tomatoes would make a rather magnificent addition to your recipe here.

    I'll try it as soon as "Mediterraneans" are back in stock at Tesco.

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