Baked Cavatappi with Roasted Peppers and Capocollo

Olive oil
1 pint size jar of
Red Roasted Peppers, drained
1 large onion, thinly sliced

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
one 14-1/2-oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
A few large sprigs of thyme, leaves chopped
1/3 lb. very thinly sliced capocollo, chopped
1-1/2 cups fresh ricotta cheese
1-1/2 cups heavy cream
Pinch nutmeg, preferably freshly grated
1 pound cavatappi (or fusilli or penne)
1/4 cup grated Pecorino cheese
1/3 cup breadcrumbs

Heat the oven to 425°F. Lightly coat a large, shallow baking dish with olive oil. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

In a large skillet, heat about 2 Tbs. olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until it begins to soften. Add the peppers, season with salt and pepper, and sauté until soft and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook another 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the thyme and capocollo. Mix and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, cream, and nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper and whisk until smooth.

Cook the cavatappi until al dente. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, toss the grated Pecorino with the breadcrumbs. Season with salt and pepper and add a drizzle of olive oil. Mix well.

Drain the pasta well and return it to the pot. Add the pepper mixture and toss. Add the ricotta mixture and toss again, tasting for seasoning.

Pour the pasta into the baking dish. Top with an even coating of the breadcrumb mixture and a drizzle of fresh olive oil.
Bake uncovered until browned and bubbling, about 15 to 20 minutes. Serve right away.

COOKS NOTE:  If you want to roast your own peppers, roast 3 to 4 peppers by turning them over the flame of a gas burner until the skins are charred or by putting them under a broiler, turning until all sides are well blistered. Peel off the skins, core and seed the peppers, and cut the flesh into thin strips.

Copyright ©2011 The Slow Roasted Italian – All rights reserved.