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Lisa’s Pepper Pasta

My former neighbor and dear friend, Lisa James, and I meet up to walk several mornings a week. On the mornings we don’t walk, Lisa teaches spin class at the YMCA. The Y closed several weeks ago and since then, we walk every morning. For years, I’ve heard about Lisa’s Pepper Pasta. It is one of her family’s most requested recipes. One morning last week, she mentioned that she had made it the night before. Finally, I asked her if she would share the recipe. She did one better and gave me the recipe and a container of leftovers to try.

I had it that same evening for dinner and I can see why her family loves it so much. When I went to the store to buy the Italian sausage and canned tomatoes, the store was out of canned tomatoes.

So I decided to make it with what I had in my freezer, shredded chicken and roasted cherry tomatoes. Below is my “use what you have” take on Lisa’s recipe. To make Lisa’s original version, switch out the chicken for sweet or hot Italian sausage and cook the sausage in the skillet first and use a 32 to 35-ounce can of plum tomatoes in place of the roasted cherry tomatoes. Also, you may not need the reserved pasta water for the original, since you will have the juice from the canned tomatoes. But it never hurts to reserve a little pasta water for any pasta recipe, just in case you need it.

Lisa’s Pepper Pasta

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 orange bell pepper, cored, seeded and thinly sliced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 cups roasted cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 3 cups cooked shredded chicken
  • 8 ounces grated mozzarella
  • 1 tablespoon Italian parsley, minced
  • Freshly grated parmesan cheese, garnish
  • 1 pound pasta, cooked according to package directions, reserving 1 cup of the hot pasta water after draining

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil and then sauté the sliced onion and peppers until the onions are soft and translucent.

Season with salt and pepper. Add the garlic and sprinkle the rosemary, oregano and thyme on top, stir and sauté for another minute.

Stir in the roasted cherry tomatoes and vinegar. Add the cooked chicken and stir to coat.

Once the chicken is heated through, add the mozzarella and stir until the cheese is melted and mixed in thoroughly.

Add the reserved hot pasta water, 2 tablespoons at a time, using just enough to make a creamy thick sauce, remove from heat.

Mound the cooked pasta on serving platter, top with the pepper mixture and sprinkle with parsley and parmesan. Serve immediately.

Serves 6 to 8

P.S. Here is the pasta I used. You can use any short thick pasta such as fusilli, farfalle, penne, rotini, etc.

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1 comment

1 Emily { 04.07.20 at 9:01 PM }

This is one of my favorite recipes! So good! 🙂

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