2 red field peppers or 2 large store-bought roasted red peppers, chopped
3 tablespoons EVOO
2 Cubanelle mild peppers, chopped
1 onion, chopped
5-6 cloves garlic, grated or sliced
Salt and pepper
1 cup vodka
One 28-ounce can crushed or diced tomatoes
2 cups passata
A small splash of brine, plus 3 tablespoons hot pickled cherry peppers
1 handful basil, torn and a few small leaves for garnish
½ cup heavy cream
1 pound rigatoni
1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Heat a large pot of water to boil for pasta.
If you're roasting red peppers, blacken them under high heat of broiler or over open flame. Cover peppers, then peel, seed and chop.
Heat EVOO in saucepot or Dutch oven, 3 turns of the pan, add fresh peppers, onions, garlic, roasted peppers, salt and pepper. Partially cover the pot and soften 5 minutes, then uncover, add vodka and reduce by half. Add the tomatoes, passata, brine and hot peppers and stir in torn basil. Lower heat and stir in the cream.
Boil pasta in salted water 1 minute less than package directions, reserve ½ cup salty water and drain. Combine the pasta, sauce and cheese and top with a few small leaves of basil.