Rigatoni Peperonata


Rarely does a meatless dish make for a happy husband at the dinner table. But, as Mark has been brave taste-tester and willing participant, he doesn’t mind when I change things up a bit, and sometimes even likes the end result.

However, as I was cooking this delicious pasta dinner on Tuesday, I couldn’t help but notice his expression go from, “Hot damn, something smells delicious in here!” to “Oh, really?” when I mentioned that there would be no meat involved in that night’s meal.

Well, surprise, surprise, the courageous carnivore didn’t leave behind a single pine nut on his plate! He gobbled the whole thing up and then went for seconds. Who could blame him, what with the sweet sauteed bell peppers, crunchy pine nuts and tangy capers, topped with freshly chopped parsley, basil and creamy Parmesan cheese. Yum!

The meal was a total hit, totally satisfying and a definite eye-opener for both me and my meat-lovin’ man. Maybe I’ll try to sneak in some more vegetarian meals and see if he notices before he takes a bite . . . Oh, the possibilities.

In the meantime… It’s chicken and steak leftovers for dinner tonight!

Rigatoni Peperonata

Servings 4


  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 12 ounces rigatoni
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 bell peppers cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons chopped capers
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • Grated Parmesan cheese to taste


  • Heat oven to 400º F. Spread the pine nuts on a rimmed baking sheet and toast, tossing occasionally, until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Cook the pasta according to the package directions.
  • Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bell peppers and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the capers, vinegar, crushed red pepper, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper, and cook, stirring, until heated though, 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Add the pasta and pine nuts to the skillet and cook, tossing, for 1 minute. Add parsley, basil and Parmesan cheese. Serve.
  • Enjoy!

Join the Conversation

  1. Hahah! I shared this with my husband and we both had a great laugh about it! So true – Soup is not a meal to a man! Thanks for stopping by, Biz :)

  2. One of the first meals I made for my husband was homemade chicken noodle soup, homemade crusty bread with herbed butter – he oohed and aahed at my food! I cleaned up, came into the living room and was like “ready to go to the movies?”

    He said “what the hell is for dinner??!!” I quickly realized soup does not constitute a dinner!

  3. Magicofspice says:

    What a fantastic pasta dish…great flavors, I love it:)

  4. Wow, congratulations on the new job! Now you’ll have a good excuse to pop over to Surfas during lunch and buy a hundred new little gadgets whenever the urge strikes ;)

    Nope, I didn’t arrange the pasta – just spooned it on the plate with a ladle and got lucky!

  5. This might me my favorite picture you’ve taken yet. It’s very, very good. Did you arrange the rigatoni!? Because if you didn’t, you have the most well-behaved, born-to-be-supermodel pasta ever. And I want some. Oh, and I got a job, and guess what, it’s down the street from Surfas!

  6. ‘hot damn’? What am I from the 40s? I did say it smelled good when I came home from work – but I wasn’t wearing my finest suit at the time to take you out to the soda fountain…

  7. Mmm…this is totally something I would pick to make in a magazine. Thank you!

  8. Thank you so much, Monet! Yes, Real Simple has become a definite favorite – I’ve never met a recipe in that magazine I haven’t loved. Plus, around Black Friday you can buy the subscription online for $5! Guess who’s renewing…

    Thanks for visiting, and keep up the great work on your own blog!

  9. Mark was a lucky man! This bowl of pasta looks astoundingly good. The pine nuts and the cheese and the capers…I could go on and on. And isn’t Real Simple one of the best magazines ever? I love it.

  10. Thanks for the good writeup. It in fact used to be a entertainment account it. Look advanced to more added agreeable from you! However, how can we keep in touch?

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