Thursday, September 29, 2011

Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

As an easy alternative to tomato sauce, roasted red pepper sauce increases the elegance of any pasta dish.  I especially like it on ravioli where it can play off of the flavors of the filling: here I used it atop artichoke ravioli.  It would also be sublime on a pizza or in lasagna.

This sauce comes together in a snap and is easily adjusted to make any quantity.

- Red bell pepper
- olive oil
- garlic
- salt
- oregano
- red pepper flakes (optional)

- Rub the outside of the red pepper with olive oil and put it in a pan under the broiler.
- Cook the red pepper until the outside is charred, rotating as needed.
- When the pepper comes out of the oven, cover it with a bowl or towel.
- Once the pepper is cool enough to handle, the skin should easily rub away.
- Remove the top and pulp inside and put the rest of the pepper in a blender or food processor.
- Puree until smooth.
- In a small pan, combine a healthy drizzle of olive oil (about 1 tbsp per average sized pepper), some minced garlic, a sprinkle of salt, some dried or fresh oregano, and the red pepper flakes, (these provide a little heat as the roasted red bell pepper is actually quite sweet).
- Heat the oil over medium until fragrant, then stir in the red pepper puree.
- Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes to let the flavors combine.
- Adjust seasoning as needed.  A little pasta water can be added to thin the sauce if desired.

For a little extra decadence you could add a dash of cream and/or parmesan cheese to the sauce, though it is certainly delicious as is.


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