Pretty perfect pasta

I’m always on the hunt for a new recipe or coming up with a weeknight dinner idea that’s quick, simple and delicious. Who isn’t?

When this criteria is overlaid with the fact that pasta is included, well I’m right there ready and waiting, fork in hand and a look of eager anticipation in my eye!

Read on then if you’re keen to recreate giddy excitement when you get home from work with this (in my books) pretty perfect pasta that’s on the table in around 30 minutes.


1 white onion

2 red peppers

4 garlic cloves

1 tray of small tomatoes (any that you like, I used golden baby plums from Waitrose here)

1 can of good quality chopped tomatoes or whole baby tomatoes

Salt & pepper

1 500g pack of Bucatini (use about half a pack for 2 hungry people)

1 handful of flat leaf Parsley (finely chopped)

1/2 lemon (zest & juice)

1 knob of butter (approx 1 Tbsp)

1/2 teaspoon of dried red chilli flakes (optional)


  1. Chop peppers roughly, discard stalk and insides. Don’t worry about being too precise here, as long as you get rid of most of the seeds and pith.
  2. Toss peppers into a deep pan, heated through with a good couple of glugs of olive oil. Give them a stir then let them cook and begin to brown for 5 minutes or so.
  3. Finely dice onion and garlic cloves and then add them into the pan with the peppers and cook until beginning to caramelise.
  4. Keep the heat high and tip in the can of tomatoes with about 1/2 can of water and bring to the boil before seasoning then turning down to a simmer.
  5. The sauce will take about 20 minutes as the tomatoes take on a delicious sweet depth of flavour and reduce down by about half. You can turn off the heat.
  6. Chop the baby tomatoes and parsley and set aside, you’ll toss these in just before serving and save a little to scatter over the top.
  7. Bring a deep pan of salted water and cook the pasta to the instructions on the packet less a couple of minutes as it will finish cooking in the tomato sauce.
  8. Just before the pasta is done (reserve some pasta water to loosen the sauce), turn the heat back on low under the tomato sauce and if you like add a knob of butter stirred through to enrich.
  9. Drain the pasta, add to sauce pan, throw in lemon zest & juice, parsley, chopped baby tomatoes (plus a pinch of red chilli flakes if using) and some reserved pasta water. Stir everything together for a minute or so, the sauce will coat and cling to the pasta perfectly and you’re ready to plate up.

Grab a fork and tuck in! Sharing is completely optional of course…

One thought on “Pretty perfect pasta

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