Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A Tale of Three Peppers

Recently I picked up a pack (not a peck) of peppers at Trader Joe's. It was a three-pack, consisting of one red, one orange and one yellow pepper. I wasn't sure what I was going to use the peppers for, and so they languished for a bit in the crisper. Then I had a revelation: Roasted Red Pepper Sauce. The recipe is an old, long-forgotten favorite of mine. Back in college, I worked for a restaurant called Pastabilities. The restaurant is, sadly, long gone, but I managed to sweet talk one of the cooks into giving me the recipe for both this sauce and a killer pesto as my time there was coming to an end. The thing about it is that it really could not be more simple to make, yet it tastes spectacular. And, so, without further ado, the tale of how my three lowly peppers turned into the best sauce ever:

Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
adapted from Pastabilities*
Yield: about 2 cups

3 red peppers (or a mix of red, yellow and orange)
1/2 of a 10.5 oz can of crushed tomatoes
2-3 Tb heavy cream

Cut the peppers in half, discard stems and seeds, and broil cut side down on a baking sheet until the skins are totally black. Remove peppers from oven and place in either a ziplock bag or a bowl with a tight-fitting lid. Let peppers rest until they are cool enough to handle, then remove blackened skins from each pepper and discard the char.

Place peppers in a blender, add tomatoes and cream, and puree until smooth. From here the sauce can either be saved for another day or heated and served over your favorite pasta. I served it to Mr. Fritz over gnocchi and mixed in some bite-sized pieces of sauteed chicken breast, then dusted the dish with grated Parm. Seriously delish!

* The original recipe called for a 48 oz can of roasted red peppers, a 10.5 oz can of 6-in-1 tomatoes and 8 oz of half-and-half. This would have made enough sauce to feed and army and wouldn't have helped me use up my fresh peppers, so I scaled it down to the recipe you see above. If you need a LOT of RRP sauce, definitely give the larger proportions a try!