Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Sauce

Just recently, I had the opportunity to spend a night working at the pasta station at the Grange restaurant in Sacramento under Chef Michael Tuohy. During that time, I came up with this particular pasta sauce.

It is a sauce that is inspired by Spanish cuisine and consists of roasted red peppers, a generous amount of garlic, and a touch of sage. It is comparable to the flavors that are found in my favorite wild game stew, which is called chilindon and originates from the province of Aragon in Spain.

The sauce was first intended to be served with pici pasta, which is a type of pasta that is hand-rolled and has a shape similar to that of spaghetti. It is somewhat similar to a combination of bucatini and Japanese udon noodles.

In the event that you are able to locate bucatini, which are thick spaghetti noodles that have a hole in the middle of them, you should use those. Instead, you should use normal spaghetti.

Would you be able to utilize a different shape? In that case, simply make sure not to go too fine: Penne is wonderful, but angel hair is not.

In spite of the fact that the red wine is an essential component of the sauce’s flavor, it is feasible to use chicken stock as an alternative. There are individuals who are unable to consume alcohol. Although there will be some changes to the food, it will still have a pleasant flavor.

I use roasted red peppers from a can for this dish; however, there is no reason why you cannot roast your own red peppers. It is possible that you will need to add a splash of vinegar to the sauce if you want to proceed in this manner. Because canned peppers are marinated in a vinegar solution, they continue to retain their acidity even after being soaked.

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • onion, chopped
  • Salt
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped
  • 3 to 5 anchovies, or 2 teaspoons anchovy paste
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 cups red wine
  • 4 cups roasted red peppers (jarred or freshly roasted)
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne or hot paprika
  • Grated cheese (Parmesan, pecorino, manchego, etc.)
  • Some minced fresh sage, for garnish

Method

  1. Soak the jarred peppers in water:

    If you are using jarred peppers, drain away the marinade and soak them in a large bowl of cold water. If you skip this step, the sauce will become too acidic. Soak for 10 to 15 minutes before proceeding.

  2. Sauté the onions:

    Heat the olive oil in a pot over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion and sauté, stirring from time to time, until it is wilted and translucent, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle some salt over the onions as they cook.

  3. Add the garlic and sage, then anchovies, then tomato paste:

    Add the garlic and sage, mix well, and sauté another minute. Mix in the anchovies, smashing them up, and cook for 1 more minute.

    Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring often, until the paste begins to turn a brick red.

  4. Add the wine, roasted peppers, then simmer:

    Add the red wine and stir well. Turn the heat up to high and let this boil down by half. Stir in the roasted red peppers and turn the heat back down to medium.

    Let this simmer for 10-20 minutes – it’s pretty forgiving at this point. You just want the peppers to be cooked through and soft.

  5. Purée:

    Purée the sauce in a blender. You might need to do this in batches, because you don’t want to fill your blender more than 2/3 up at one time.

    Purée the sauce, starting with the machine on low for 1-2 minutes to break up the big pieces. Turn off the blender and scrape the sides down. Turn it on again, and starting at the low setting, bring it up to its highest setting. Purée for at least a minute, until smooth.

  6. Add the spices:

    Return the sauce to the pan and heat to medium-low. Taste for salt and add some if needed. Add the cayenne or hot paprika, along with smoked paprika if you have some. If you want, a teaspoon of sugar helps, too, if your peppers are not already sweet enough. Keep the sauce warm while you make the pasta.

  7. Make the pasta:

    according to the package instructions, depending on the type of pasta you are using.

  8. Serve the pasta with sauce:

    To serve, drain the cooked pasta and put it into a large bowl. Ladle some sauce over the pasta and mix with tongs to combine. You want to coat all the noodles evenly. Divide into servings. Garnish with some grated cheese and minced fresh sage. Serve with a medium-bodied red wine, or a dry rose.

FAQ

What is Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Sauce?

Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Sauce is a flavorful and vibrant sauce made from roasted red bell peppers, garlic, onions, tomatoes, and herbs. It’s a delicious alternative to traditional tomato-based pasta sauces, offering a slightly sweet and smoky flavor with a hint of tanginess from the peppers.

How do I make Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Sauce?

To make Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Sauce, start by roasting red bell peppers until charred and tender. Once cooled, remove the skins, seeds, and stems from the peppers. In a skillet, sauté chopped onions and garlic until softened, then add the roasted red peppers, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, vegetable broth, and herbs (such as basil, oregano, and thyme). Simmer the sauce for about 15-20 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together. Finally, blend the sauce until smooth using a blender or immersion blender. Serve the sauce over cooked pasta and garnish with grated Parmesan cheese and fresh basil, if desired.

What ingredients are needed for Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Sauce?

The main ingredients for Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Sauce include:

    • Red bell peppers
    • Onion
    • Garlic
    • Diced tomatoes (canned or fresh)
    • Tomato paste
    • Vegetable broth or water
    • Olive oil
    • Salt and pepper
    • Herbs (such as basil, oregano, and thyme) Optional ingredients for added flavor may include red pepper flakes for heat, balsamic vinegar for tanginess, or a splash of cream for creaminess.

 

Can I customize Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Sauce?

Yes, Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Sauce is versatile and can be customized to suit your taste preferences. You can adjust the amount of garlic and herbs used to enhance the flavor profile of the sauce. Additionally, you can add other ingredients such as sun-dried tomatoes, roasted garlic, or caramelized onions for extra depth of flavor. For a creamier sauce, you can blend in some heavy cream or coconut milk. Feel free to experiment with different types of peppers or spices to create your own unique version of the sauce.

Is Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Sauce suitable for meal prep?

Yes, Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Sauce is suitable for meal prep and can be made ahead of time. Once prepared, let the sauce cool completely before transferring it to an airtight container. Store the sauce in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days or freeze it for longer storage. When ready to eat, reheat the sauce on the stovetop or in the microwave until heated through, then toss it with cooked pasta for a quick and delicious meal.

 

 

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