The sweetness of bell peppers is the flavor we're celebrating in this colorful dish. Stir strips of grilled chicken breast into the topping to make the meal more filling. Add a dash of red pepper flakes to make the flavor not only sweet but also zesty.

Ingredients


12 ounces mostaccioli (about 4 cups)

2 tbsp. olive oil, divided

1 red onion, cut into ¼-inch strips (about 1 cup)

1 red bell pepper, cut into 2-inch by ¼-inch strips

1 yellow bell pepper, cut into 2-inch by ¼-inch strips

1 green bell pepper, cut into 2-inch by ¼-inch strips

4 cloves garlic, minced

¼ c. toasted pine nuts

¼ tsp. freshly ground pepper, or to taste

Salt to taste

½ c. fresh basil chiffonade

Freshly ground pepper and freshly grated Parmesan or chévre cheese for garnish

Preparation

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat; add salt, then the mostaccioli. When the water returns to a boil, stir occasionally to separate the mostaccioli. Reduce the heat to medium-high and cook for about 12 to 14 minutes, or according to package instructions, until the noodles are al dente.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large nonstick sauté pan over medium high heat. Add the onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Add the bell peppers and garlic; continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the bell peppers are tender, about 8 minutes. Stir in the pine nuts, pepper, and salt. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm.

When the mostaccioli is done, drain well; return to the pot. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and toss. Add the basil and toss again.

To serve, spoon the mostaccioli into pasta bowls; top with the bell pepper mixture.