I realize that this is yet another post about a tomato recipe, but Matt had a huge bag of them in his apartment that needed to be used last weekend. His fault!

I also wanted to use the Zingerman’s Marash pepper flakes he got me from his trip home to Ann Arbor the prevous weekend:

The bottle describes it as having “amazingly full flavor with just a moderate amount of heat.” I tried a little before using and it definitely had a kick, but not enough to stop me from using a sizeable amount in my meal. Also, it was insanely delicious. I decided to make a tomato sauce with the pepper flakes, some red bell pepper, and olives with bucatini pasta and shrimp. If you’ve never had bucatini, it’s kind of like thick spaghetti but with a hole running through the center like a tube. Not only is it really fun to eat, it’s nice and sturdy so it holds up well with a thick tomato sauce.

¾ lb. bucatini
½ c. red bell pepper, chopped
½ c. shallot, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, sliced
Red pepper flakes (generous pinch)
Olive oil
12 black olives, sliced (I used canned, but we both agreed that it could have benefited from some better quality ones…and maybe more of them)
3 ½ c. peeled and seeded tomatoes, roughly chopped
Kosher salt
Black pepper
Shrimp (3-4 medium per portion)
Parsley, chopped (for garnish)

1. Cook the bucatani until al dente in salted water and reserve some of the pasta water.

2. In a large sauté pan, sauté the pepper, shallot, garlic, and pepper flakes in some olive oil until soft. Add the olives and sauté for a few more minutes.

3. Add the tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Add some kosher salt and black pepper to taste. Cook these down until they become sauce-like.

4. Add the pasta to the sauce with a little bit of the pasta water.

5. Meanwhile, season the shrimp with salt and pepper and saute in some olive oil.

6. Top the pasta with a few shrimp, some chopped parsley, and another dash of pepper flakes. The shrimp is of course optional – the vegetarian went without.

Here’s another view of the final dish. It was pretty tasty!

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