Pasta With Piment d’Espelette


1-1/2 Tbsp olive oil
1 shallot, diced
1 large clove of fresh garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp Piment d’Espelette
1 – 15 oz can diced tomatoes, drained
Kosher salt
10 leaves of fresh mint
10 leaves of fresh basil
1 pound pasta (recommended: penne, farfalle, gemelli, rotini, or other ~2″ noodle)


Empty the can of diced tomatoes in a blender or food processor. Pulse until tomatoes are pulverized and smooth.

Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan, over medium heat on the stove. Add the diced shallots and sliced garlic, and sauté, stirring often, until ingredients have softened and become fragrant: about 3 min. Sprinkle the Piment d’Espelette over the mixture, stirring to incorporate into the sizzling ingredients.  Add the pureed tomato to the saucepan, then season well with salt, cooking the sauce over medium heat, uncovered, to allow the sauce to thicken, about 15 min. Add the fresh mint and basil leaves to the mixture, reduce heat to low, and simmer for another 15 minutes.

While the sauce is simmering, bring a large stock pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. When the sauce has about 10 minutes left, cook the pasta, according to the package directions, until “al dente.” Drain the pasta in a colander, then combine the penne and the sauce in one of the pots. Warm the combined mixture over medium-low heat, with the lid off the pan, stirring frequently, for several minutes, allowing the pasta to absorb some of the tomato sauce.

Serve immediately.