Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

Pasta in Chilli, Bell Pepper and Peanut Sauce

“What Kind of Food Are You?” – I tried the fun quiz of 5 questions. I expected Indian, but I don’t think the quiz has Indian food in its list of responses. The answer was ‘Italian food’, and I was satisfied. Like Indian, I think of Italian as another no-nonsense, honest kind of food. Though here in US, a little bit over glorified. What? Have you been watching food TV (US) lately? It should be renamed ‘Italian Food TV’ with its 24-hour Italian this and Italian that programming, and its star-cooks falling over themselves proclaiming their Italian heritage. Sometimes I wonder, why am I paying money for this channel on cable, is this a foodtv or a propaganda machine for Italian cuisine. It would be understandable if majority of Americans are Italians or Italian decent, but that is not the case and further, the minority (here the minority status is determined by the skin color) means non-whites, are climbing up to almost 40%. More and more, it looks like American Food TV has decided to disregard diversity and showcase only one cuisine at the expense of others. What a sad, sad thinking!

Well, I am glad to contribute one more recipe of pasta to IMBB #22, the mother of all events and most popular one in food blogosphere, this month hosted by lovely Amy of ‘Cooking with Amy’ fame. Even though I think of my contribution an original, I am sure there is someone, somewhere already written down this version of pasta sauce. Thousands of dedicated Italian cooks, cookbooks and hundreds of fabulous food bloggers, recipe sites – millions of pasta recipes, it got to be there, somewhere. No… then I am happy to cook up millionth one recipe of pasta.:)

spaghetti, red bell pepper, Tomatoes, Roasted Peanuts, olive oil, Onions, Dried red chillies and garlic


Pasta: I used spaghetti, Hodgson Mills brand, whole wheat with flax seed and organic variety. Like pulao/pilaf taste depends on basmati rice, a good pasta dish needs quality pasta. So I do spend few extra bucks on a fine variety. Hodgson Mill brand without a doubt, quality products.
One fistful of spaghetti for one person – that is the measurement I use for spaghetti.

For Sauce:
1 cup of peanuts – roasted and skins removed
3 red bell peppers – deseeded, cut into big chunks
4 dried red chillies and 4 garlic cloves – halved
3 ripe, juicy tomatoes – chopped into big chunks
1 small red onion – chopped into big chunks
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 tsp of each-cumin, salt and powdered jaggery/sugar
I prefer to have sauce, lots of it with my pasta, so the above quantities.

Peanut-Veggie Sauce Spaghetti in pasta sauce


Pasta Sauce: Roast the bell peppers, dried red chillies, tomato, onion, garlic and cumin in 1 tsp of olive oil, until they all are brown and golden. Let them cool down to room temperature.

In a food processor, first add roasted peanuts and make a fine powder of them. To it, add the roasted veggies and half teaspoon of salt. Add half cup of water and grind them into smooth paste.

In a big wide pan, heat olive oil and add the peanut-veggie paste. Add one cup of water, jaggery and salt to taste. Mix and cook covered for about 10 minutes on medium-low heat.

Pasta: While the sauce is simmering, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta al dente, usually for about 5 to 8 minutes. Drain the pasta into a colander, immediately add it to the sauce. Mix it thoroughly with pasta sauce. Cook, uncovered for about 2 minutes on low heat and serve.

The sauce can be made earlier and just before mealtime, pasta can be cooked and added. One thing I learned about pasta is, it has to be served hot, to get the best taste.
Spaghetti in Chilli-Red bell pepper- peanut sauce

Pasta in chilli-red bell pepper-peanut sauce: sweet, spicy, savory and smoky – A range of delicious flavors, all blended well together for a wholesome, hearty, filling meal ~ Our Sunday dinner and my entry to IMBB Event.

Recipe Source: My Own Creation
Tagged with: +

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Bell Pepper,Dried Red Chillies,Pasta,Peanuts (Monday January 30, 2006 at 8:32 am- permalink)
Comments (30)

The New Home of Mahanandi:

30 comments for Pasta in Chilli, Bell Pepper and Peanut Sauce »

  1. So funny, I think of FoodTV as “Emeril TV” because it seems he’s the only one who’s ever on when I flip over there. (And then somewhere else.)

    Comment by Alanna — January 30, 2006 @ 9:01 am

  2. There is Emeril, then there is atleast one programme about Italian food, for every two hours. Mario, Giada, Micheal Chiarello to name a few.

    Comment by Indira — January 30, 2006 @ 9:15 am

  3. The pasta looks delicious…what an unusual sauce!

    Comment by Nupur — January 30, 2006 @ 11:21 am

  4. The popularity of Italian regional cuisine will fade and a new fad will begin.

    I agree with you–it is sad that Food TV has chosen to ignore other ethnic cuisines for the safe and relatively simple Italian foods it showcases. Why no Madhur Jaffrey? She has great television presence–she is an actress, after all, and is well known to American foodies?

    They go with what is safe. Everyone loves Italian, so that is what they go with.

    Comment by Barbara — January 30, 2006 @ 12:34 pm

  5. Very interesting sauce!
    I have to disagree a little on the exclusivity of Italian food on FoodTV. I believe the network is chef-oriented, not food oriented. Emeril, Michael Chiarello, Rachael Ray, Alton Brown, Bobby Flay all cook a variety of cuisines. Perhaps not Mario and Giada, but they do not have too many shows anyway. Secondly, Italian food has been pervading the American kitchen since the Italian immigrants arrived in the late 1800’s. Mexican and Oriental food is now entering the everyday American kitchen too, and so will Indian food in another 50 years or so.

    Comment by roopa — January 30, 2006 @ 12:59 pm

  6. Mmm…that sounds so good!

    I came out Italian food, too; then I took it again, and got Mexican.


    Comment by Stephanie — January 30, 2006 @ 1:39 pm

  7. I feel your comment on Italian food is so right. As Barbara said, it will be replaced by another food fad in the near future so that cooking shows and cookbooks editors can continue to sell what looks like something new and exciting. The question is, what would it be?

    Great noodle dish by the way!

    Comment by magictofu — January 30, 2006 @ 2:20 pm

  8. Mmmm, this looks SO nice! First time here but will come back! What a lovely blog!

    Comment by Bea at La Tartine Gourmande — January 30, 2006 @ 3:31 pm

  9. I don’t know, FoodTV is well on its way to becoming RRTV – or “Rachael Ray TV”. 🙂

    Wow – the pasta looks really good. I love finding ways to use whole wheat pasta as I am not fond of it in dishes like spaghetti and meatballs (there goes the Italian theme again 😉 ). I do love it with other kinds of sauces and this sounds like one of them. I look foward to giving this a try.

    Comment by Alysha — January 30, 2006 @ 4:47 pm

  10. Indira – this sounds absolutely delicious! What a great idea – combining roasted vegetables with peanuts.

    Comment by Cathy — January 30, 2006 @ 7:40 pm

  11. Indira,that’s an interesting pasta recipe and will try out soon.Like the idea of peanut sauce.

    Comment by Sailaja — January 31, 2006 @ 1:49 am

  12. Indo-Italian pasta – nice!

    Comment by Shammi — January 31, 2006 @ 6:07 am

  13. I wish networks such as FoodTV would broaden their horizons, but it will take a while.

    I will say, however, I’ve seen a chef or two cook up some Thai, Mexican, and Indian food. This was a couple years ago.

    But, as another poster commented. Italian food has been around, with the Italian immigrants, for quite some time, with great popularity. Until Indian food can get past its “mysterious” reputation it will probably be a while before the general public takes a stab at being more interested in preparing it at home.

    I’ve educated more people than I care to admit about Indian food. You’d never believe the stereotypes and wrong information people have formed in their head. But along those same lines, I was quite shocked at the stereotypes that a number of Indians have about us Americans, too. haha

    I guess we all have a lot to learn, eh?

    But anyway, nice recipe and pics! As usual!

    Comment by Jenn — January 31, 2006 @ 9:02 am

  14. Your pictures are awesome. What camera do you use?

    Comment by lakshmi — January 31, 2006 @ 10:02 am

  15. hey indira, thought this article is relevant to your post. love your website!

    Comment by rr — January 31, 2006 @ 10:09 am

  16. Never tried peanut sauce. Very interesting..

    Comment by Gini — January 31, 2006 @ 10:27 am

  17. I would have never thought to add the peanuts either. It sounds really delish! Spicy and nutty(like me :p)

    Abt food network, its not all Italian food, but the rest seems to be mostly “generic” American food, without many ethnicities explored..
    However, when anyone does something remotely “Indian” on foodnetwork, its something completely unauthentic like “mayonaise curry dip” or something.

    Comment by yum — February 1, 2006 @ 12:34 pm

  18. Must try this recipe! My favourite pasta recipe is Jamie Oliver’s version of “Pasta Norma Style”, a “classic Sicilian pasta dish that everyone on the island grows up eating.” My husbands hates “baingan bharta”, but he simply loves this dish which is basically finger-sized eggplant strips fried and cooked in olive oil with dried oregano and then simmered in a tomatoe sauce (can of chopped tomatoes) with basil stalks, tsp of herb or white wine vinegar and garlic. Found this recipe from the Nov05 issue of the Aus Women’s Weekly, but I like to add sugar and red chili powder, and omit the vinegar. Serve on individual plates “by twizzling pasta in a ladle for each portion”, garnish with torn basil leaves, left over sauce, and parmesan cheese … yummy!

    Indira replies…
    Your recipe sounds good to me. I’m going to give a try. Thanks for sharing.

    Comment by AreEyeTeeYou — February 2, 2006 @ 7:20 pm

  19. This was our dinner tonight. It certainly was qiute different than any other sauce we ever tried or made, but we both liked it. Congratulations; you made me use another piece of jaggery 🙂 Thanks for this nice recipe.

    Indira replies..
    The taste is more rustic than refined, because the sauce is mainly prepared with veggies and with less oil/no cheese. Well, one can add them as per their liking, ofcourse.
    Bravo for trying out this recipe.:) I hope, it was what you expected tastewise!

    Comment by fethiye — February 9, 2006 @ 1:23 am

  20. Indira, I made this last week, and it was a hit at home! Plan to make it this weekend too!..Thanks for this unique recipe for making pasta! 🙂

    Comment by Veda — March 25, 2006 @ 1:18 pm

  21. Hi Indira, I found your website a few weeks ago, and I have been trying out some of your recipes. They are wonderful! The pictures and detailed instructions are so helpful in my effort to learn how to cook new Indian dishes.

    Though I was mostly looking for India, this pasta looked so yummy. I made it last night, and my husband and I agree that it is hands down one of the best sauces we’ve ever had!



    Comment by nithya — April 5, 2006 @ 12:55 pm

  22. […] 2.Chicken Marsalla, i find it difficult to make any kind of pasta for that matter. I recently found a easy recipe from Indira’s mahanadhi – chilli pepper pasta with a little indo thai twist to it, a must try recipe. I dread making pasta from scratch like the ones from Delicious day’s pink pasta. i would be on top of the world if i could make that pink pasta exactly like the way it is. […]

    Pingback by Sugar and Spices » Blog Archive » Food challenge 2006 — October 2, 2006 @ 1:22 pm

  23. Hi… i just posted the link to this unique recipe on my food group…hope you dont mind.

    Indira replies:
    No, not at all. Thanks for your interest and letting me know about the link, Lavannya.

    Comment by lavannya — November 19, 2006 @ 8:16 pm

  24. Hi Indira,

    I have a question – Can you please tell me where I can find the pasta of the brand you mentioned ? I usually get Trader Joe’s whole wheat Pasta .

    I am sorry about my ignorance, Iam fairly new to the US and so to cooking.

    By the way, I tried many of your recipes – Egg Kurma , Pongal ( adding milk ) to name a few and all were super hit at home! Almost everyday I visit your blog and it is unbelivable , how much I learn about the art of cooking. 🙂

    Thanks and hats off to your dedication and great work!


    Indira replies:
    Hi Soumya: I have purchased this pasta from a US grocery shop called Rudy Brothers, when we were in Boardman, Ohio.
    Trader Joe’s whole wheat pasta is also good, nowadays I am using it regularly, here in Seattle. And for pasta with flaxseed etc, some chain American grocery shops carry, usually you will find it in organic/whole foods section.
    Hope this helps and thanks.

    Comment by Soumya — January 16, 2007 @ 4:11 pm

  25. Thanks a lot Indira. I will look for it.

    I tried one more of your recipe last night. Will post my feedback on that specific post of yours.:)

    Thanks so much!

    Comment by Soumya — January 17, 2007 @ 10:52 am

  26. Hi Indira
    I made this Pasta with some changes thrown in. I liked the taste of cumin in Pasta , thanks for the idea
    The recipe with my changes are in my blog, I have a link back to you for the original.


    Hi Sandeepa, thanks for trying out this recipe and for letting me know. Your version looks delicious with soy and everything.

    Comment by sandeepa — January 20, 2007 @ 10:23 pm

  27. Wow! Pasta in chilli red bell pepper and peanut sauce. This sure looks very enticing and delicious. I will definitely add this one on my long list of pasta recipes. Thanks for posting this. Great post by the way. Thanks again..


    Comment by Food and Recipes — April 16, 2008 @ 11:31 pm

  28. I just came back to this post tonight because we made this sauce once again for dinner. I happened to read my comment from April 2006 – still one of the best pasta sauces we’ve made. I used 3 huge farmers market bellpeppers and substituted cashews for peanuts b/c we were out of peanuts. Delish.

    Comment by nithya at hungrydesi — September 23, 2009 @ 10:05 pm

  29. your sauce recipe is marvelous i think its multipurpose sauce.i can use this sauce in many ways.

    Comment by Cheese products — September 25, 2009 @ 6:22 am

  30. […] “What sort of nutrient is Mahanandi?” according to 1 quiz, Italian! Her recipe for Pasta inwards Chili-Red Bell Pepper Peanut Sauce is a fusion of flavors that sounds too looks delightful. Tagged cooking, frucht […]

    Pingback by Imbb 22 Work Your Noodle Work 1, 2, Iii & 4 - Frucht — February 26, 2019 @ 2:22 pm

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