California Central Coast Recipes

Festive Summer Pepper Sauce with Spaghetti

When summer peppers are at their best, this is my version of a classic Italian recipe that features the use of red, yellow and green peppers. It's quite a colorful presentation that really embodies one of the best vegetables of the season.

When we were on business one hot summer day in Austin Texas a few years ago, we had a version of this that was called Arrabiata. It was very spicy--almost too much so. It consisted of the multi-colored peppers, onions, garlic, anchovies and lots of crushed red peppers. Italian Arrabiata sauces derive their moniker "Arrabiata" - meaning "angry" from the hot pepper. But, the traditional Arrabiata also has tomatoes. The one in Austin did not have tomatoes to my recollection, nor does this so that is why I do not call it an Arrabiata. My recipe is also a little more tame hotness-wise.

This is especially good for dinner on a hot evening. The peppers and onions help promote your natural cooling mechanism. ©2017, Festive Summer Pepper Sauce with Spaghetti
Preparation time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes
re-calculate ingredients for:


1/2 cup Extra-virgin olive oil
1-1/2 large Onion , sliced into thin slices
3 Red bell Peppers ,cut into 1/4 inch strips
2 Yellow bell Peppers , cut into 1/4 inch strips
2 Green bell Peppers , cut into 1/4 inch strips
3 large cloves Garlic , chopped
9 to 11 flat Anchovies , chopped
3/4 teaspoons Crushed red pepper flakes
to taste
cracked black pepper to taste

1 pound Spaghetti or Linguine

Preparation Directions.

1 Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan or stockpot over medium-low heat.

2 Separate the onion slices and spread over the bottom of the pan and saute ten to fifteen minutes until the onion is softened and starting to become lightly golden.

3 Add the garlic and and the anchovies and continue to saute over medium-low heat, about 2 or three minutes.

4 Add the crushed red pepper flakes to the mixture and continue to stir.

5 Add the peppers, separating the slices and spreading them throughout the pan evenly and saute until they are wilted and tender, about 15 minutes.

6 Check the seasoning and add salt to taste. (Keep in mind the anchovies are salty!) Add a few grinds of freshly cracked black pepper and stir the pepper mixture. Remove from heat.

7 Meanwhile, cook the pasta in boiling salted water until al dente or according to the pasta package. Drain the pasta and add to the pepper mixture. Gently mix thoroughly to distribute the peppers and onions. Serve immediately.

Wine and Food Pairing and Serving Suggestions.

If you like your sauce "hot" , choose an opinionated red wine such as a young Zinfandel or Syrah (Shiraz)to take the heat.

As an alternative - especially if the peppers are on the sweet side, try a dry Riesling or Gewürztraminer.

A tip from Sue!

Sauteing whole garlic

If your recipe calls for whole garlic, it doesn't burn as easily when in larger pieces. But you do need to score your garlic cloves all over in order to release the garlic juices and fragrance .Always be careful to avoid burning the cloves. It'll make the garlic cloves bitter and ruin what you're cooking.