This pasta sauce packs in a lot of flavour and heat. Vary the number of chillies you use, depending on who you’re making it for. Or, pierce the chillies several times and add them whole, then remove them before serving – you’ll get warmth without the sauce becoming too hot.
2 large red peppers, deseeded and cut into 3cm pieces/cubes
2-3 red chillies, cut in half lengthways and deseeded
3 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
2 tbsp olive oil
375g penne pasta
1 tsp smoked paprika
½ tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp runny honey
1 tbsp tomato purée
50ml whole milk
Place the peppers, chillies, garlic cloves and oil in a large non-stick saucepan with a lid. Place the lid on the pan and gently fry on a low heat for 30 minutes, removing the lid from time to time to stir, until the vegetables are cooked.
In the meantime, 10 minutes before the end of the cooking time, place the pasta in a separate saucepan and cover in boiling water. Salt the water and bring to the boil, then simmer for 10 minutes, until tender.
Remove the lid from the peppers and chilli mixture and stir in the paprika, cumin, ground coriander, honey and tomato purée. Fry for two minutes, still on a low heat, then add the milk, season with salt and pepper, and stir to gather any spices that may have stuck to the bottom of the pan. Gently bring to the boil.
Once the sauce is boiling, remove it from the heat and use a hand blender to blitz it until smooth. (You can leave some of the peppers whole if you would like some added texture.)
Lift the pasta from the water using a slotted spoon and transfer it to the pan with the sauce (any residue of cooking water on the pasta water will help to thicken and combine the sauce). Stir the pasta until coated and serve, with an extra grinding of black pepper, if you wish.