Sunday, November 23, 2008
Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
This is really Andy's sauce, but I made it today with his supervision. It's a delicious and versatile sauce, good over anything you can imagine. Pasta, pizza, gnocchi, eggs, whatever makes your tastebuds sing. I love the added smokey richness that the charred peppers provide.
I do the stovetop method of charring the bell peppers. As you can see, I take the grate off of one burner and stack it up on top of another. This keeps the peppers just a little farther from the flame, and as you turn them every now and then, they get nicely blackened all over. Then I close them in a ziploc bag and set them aside.
Meanwhile, in a saucepan saute half an onion in some olive oil until it's soft and translucent. Then add about 4 cloves of minced garlic and a dried red chili. Saute that for a couple more minutes, then add a good blob--about 1/4 cup-- of double strength tomato paste. I let the tomato paste fry with the onion, oil and garlic for a good five minutes or so. This step is important, as it makes the flavor of the tomato paste just explode.
Take the charred bell peppers out of the bag and scrape the skin off. Dice the flesh and add it to the pan, along with a 14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes. Let this simmer for about 20 minutes. Then blend it all up with an immersion blender until it has a smooth, velvety texture. Add salt and pepper to taste.
This can easily morph into a gorgeous soup with a bit of tweaking. Add vegetable broth after the saute phase, then cream at the end and a dash of smoked paprika.