Orecchiette made with red peppers

No wheat, only tasty and colourful vegetables for this special “pasta” dish

10-07-2014
With this recipe, vegan chef Simone Salvini gives

With this recipe, vegan chef Simone Salvini gives space to his collaborator. Something that will happen again in the next articles for our website. His Ops! is indeed more than a restaurant: it is also a workshop for vegetarian ideas and the people with whom Salvini works are the heart of the project. Among them, there’s Federica Scolta from Abruzzo

My name is Federica Scolta, I’m thirty years old and I come from Abruzzo. I began my career in the kitchen two years ago, in my region, with the Professional course held by chef Niko Romito. After the course, I continued to collaborate with the school as an assistant to the new course and at restaurant Reale, thus discovering a world that has become my own. Thanks to Romito I understood how simplicity can be extraordinary, I learnt how hard it is to work in the kitchen and how important it is to have passion and be eager to learn.

I gradually approached vegetarianism, as both an ethic and health-related choice. I thus began to collaborate with chef Simone Salvini, who welcomed me in a loving and helpful way. While waiting to move to Rome permanently to work at his restaurant Ops! , I’m working in Calabria at restaurant Dattilo, one Michelin star, with chef Caterina Ceraudo, who was a classmate of mine.

Over there, I’m in charge of the vegetarian, vegan and food intolerance line. Dattilo is a large farm producing organic wine and oil. In her restaurant I even have the chance to look after the vegetable garden, whenever I can. And there’s nothing more beautiful than seeing raw materials being born and grow before becoming the protagonists of a recipe one creates.

This recipe recalls the imitation, shape-wise, of some classic preparations. Our orecchiette, instead of being made with wheat, are made with colourful vegetables, full of surprises, and they are chosen based on the season. Peppers, for example, if cut carefully can become some small orecchiette that one can steam cook and then bake or fry.

Red pepper orecchiette with yellow pepper sauce and crispy sage

Federica Scolta with orecchiette made with red pepper

Federica Scolta with orecchiette made with red pepper

INGREDIENTS
2 red peppers (with a firm pulp)
2 yellow peppers
sage leaves
spicy oil

METHOD
1) Cut the end of the red pepper with a very good knife, so as to obtain some uniform orecchiette; steam them (we used a bamboo basket) for 4 minutes and keep them to a side. Wrap the raw red peppers with tin foil and cook them, in the oven, at 180°C for 15 minutes; recover the vegetable water and centrifuge the cooked peppers. Mix the two liquids and reduce them on a low flame so as to obtain a honey-like texture. Keep to a side.

2) Dice the yellow peppers; fry them in a pan, with a drop of oil, until they become soft and almost transparent. Salt at the end and process in the cutter until you obtain a smooth purée. Strain and keep warm; add some more salt if necessary.

3) Fry the sage leaves in oil at 150°C until they become crispy. Keep to a side.

4) Cook the orecchiette in the oven at 180°C for 2 minutes and season them with the “pepper caramel” and some drops of spicy oil.

5) Pour the yellow pepper sauce on the base of the dishes, place the red orrecchiette on top and finish with the crispy sage.