Sometimes you get home and all you want to do is get on with things. While you'd love to spend hours in the kitchen making a delicious, elaborate dinner there just isn't the time. There are projects that need to be handed in, rooms to be tidied and of course shelves to be painted.
And then the boy calls and says he won't be home until 11pm and that he's starving and in dire need of a stiff drink. A cheese sandwich will really not do in a situation like this, will it?

So I wacked up the oven, threw in a red pepper and got on with stuff for the next 45 minutes or so. This sauce does take a little while to make, but there is hardly any preparation time and you can put the lid on the pot and literally complete all your chores while it bubbles away on the stove. This sauce is so yummy- it's sweet, smokey, spicy and most of all comforting and filling (in the healthiest way possible). Well and the drink of choice for this late night dinner - Scotch, what else!

And of course this make the perfect lunch to take to work the next day.

What's your favourite busy evening dinner solution? 


COOKS 1-1.5 hours

  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • 1 red pepper, halved and de-seeded
  • 2 jalapeños, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1tbsp tomato paste
  • 1tbsp balsamico
  • 1tsp sugar
  • Italian seasoning (optional)
  • small glass white wine
  • salt and pepper to season
  • penne pasta for 3
  • rocket to serve
  • grated parmesan to serve

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 190˚C. Place the pepper halves, skin side up onto a baking tray and place in the hot oven. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until the pepper is soft and the skin charred. 
  2. Peel the skin of the peppers and roughly dice the flesh.
  3. Pre-heat some olive oil in a pan. Once hot add the diced onions and jalapeños and saute for a few minutes until the onions start to soften. Add the tomato paste, paprika, garlic and pepper and cook for a few minutes. Make sure the ingredients are all thoroughly coated in the spices. 
  4. De-glaze the pan with the white wine and leave to cook for a few minutes until the liquid has reduced by half.
  5. Add the chopped tomatoes, stir and season with about 1 teaspoon of salt and plenty of black pepper. Cover with a lid (leaving a small gap for the steam to escape) or a splash guard. Leave to cook and reduce down for 30 - 45 minutes, depending on how intense you like your sauce.
  6. Take the lid off for the last 15 minutes and stir in the balsamico and sugar. 
  7. Mix in the cooked pasta and serve topped with a handful of rocket and a shaving of Parmesan.

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