Pepper adds devilish touch to pasta dish

February 18, 1996|By Charlotte Balcomb Lane | Charlotte Balcomb Lane,KNIGHT-RIDDER/TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICE

A tiny sprinkling of hot red pepper is all you need to add a deliciously devilish touch to the simple, very low-fat pasta dish called farfalle Fra Diavolo.

In Italian, "Fra Diavolo" means "Friar Devil" or "Brother Devil." However, this dish is so low in fat, you will have little to repent for.

The sauce is made with a technique called "steam frying," in which you cook the vegetables in rapidly boiling liquid instead of hot oil or butter. You add no extra fat during cooking. Steam frying thoroughly cooks the vegetables, but leaves them crisp.

When shopping for spaghetti sauce to make farfalle Fra Diavolo or any pasta dish, look for those brands that contain 1 gram of fat or less per serving. If you are on a low-sodium diet, also look for brands in which the number of calories and milligrams of sodium are approximately the same.

Farfalle Fra Diavolo

Makes 5 servings

3 tablespoons dry white wine or dry vermouth

3 tablespoons water

1/4 teaspoon ground hot red pepper

1 teaspoon dried basil leaves

1 1/2 cups diced yellow onion (1 medium onion)

1/2 cup diced yellow bell pepper

1/4 cup diced green bell pepper

1 cup sliced mushrooms (about 5 small mushrooms)

2 cloves garlic, crushed through a press

2 cups chunky-style low-fat spaghetti sauce

3 cups dry farfalle (bow tie) pasta

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan

In a large, nonstick skillet, combine the wine and water and bring to a boil. Add the ground hot red pepper, basil and yellow onion and boil rapidly for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the yellow and green bell pepper and cook for 3 to 4 minutes longer, until the liquid has evaporated. Stir in the mushrooms, garlic and spaghetti sauce and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 6 to 7 minutes.

Bring a kettle of water to a boil and cook the pasta according to package directions. When the pasta is tender, drain it thoroughly and pour it into a large, heated serving bowl. Pour the pasta sauce on top and toss well. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese and serve.

Nutritional information per serving: calories, 264; protein, 10 grams; carbohydrate, 51.6 grams; fat, 2 grams (8 percent of calories from fat); cholesterol 1.9 milligrams; sodium, 595 milligrams.

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