Pepper paste - also known as biber salçasi is a staple in Turkish cooking. They usually combine it with tomato paste and together they create a beautiful flavour. For this spaghetti dish I used the pepper paste alone but paired it with some garlic and cherry tomatoes.
It's so simple to make but so tasty. You can find this at Turkish grocery stores or even some supermarkets that carry international food. You can also use it in soups, as a pizza base, in casseroles or any other way that you would use tomato paste.
3 tablespoons pepper paste
125g cherry tomatoes (half a punnet)
2 tbsp olive oil
2 or 3 cloves garlic
Handful baby spinach
1 tsp Italian herbs
1 tsp oregano (optional)
1 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
Spaghetti for 2
Water from the pasta
1️ Bring a pot of water to the boil & cook the spaghetti.
2️ In a different pan, heat the olive oil & add the garlic. Cook for a few mins until fragrant and add the chopped cherry tomatoes. Stir and cook for about 8-10 mins until they begin to soften.
3️ Add the pepper paste and about 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of the water from the pasta pot. Stir to create a thickened sauce. Add the seasoning and stir. Cook on a low heat until the pasta is ready.
4️ Drain the pasta but keep 1 to 2 cups of the water. Add the cooked pasta to the sauce pan. Stir and add some of the water back, as much as you think, until it’s creamy.
5️ Add the chopped spinach last. Stir and remove from heat. Serve hot and enjoy!