Lions Plate: Roasted red pepper sauce

By Julia Dzurillay
Columnist

Nothing quite beats the atmosphere of an Italian deli. A tray of artichoke salad glistening in the food case, Andrea Bocelli crooning through the speakers or a cashier yelling at someone in the back to bring out the fresh mozzarella are all familiar smells and sounds for those who frequent Italian delis.

Some of the staples of an Italian deli include homemade vodka sauce and roasted red peppers, but one of the greatest food mashups can be made right at home by blending these two Italian delicacies together to make a roasted red pepper sauce. While roasted red peppers can get a bit pricey (a jar of roasted red peppers can cost around $5), nothing quite compares to their smoky, fiery flavor.

I’ve seen people make this sauce with finely crushed almonds instead of heavy cream, but I prefer the rich texture that comes with heavy cream. I’ve served this over bowtie pasta with basil, pepper and parmesan cheese sprinkled on top, but this sauce is also a great pizza sauce or side dish with some fresh bread. Buon appetito!

Roasted red peppers are the secret to a smooth, smoky pasta sauce. (Flickr)

Ingredients:
16 oz jar roasted red peppers
2 tbsp butter
1/2 onion
1 tbsp of minced garlic
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 cup heavy cream
Black pepper and parmesan cheese, to taste

 

Makes: 6 servings

 

Directions:

  1. In a blender, combine (drained) roasted red peppers and 2 tablespoons of water. Blend until smooth.
  2. Chop onion into small chunks.
  3. In a large frying pan, add butter, garlic and onion. Saute over medium heat until onion becomes translucent, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add blended peppers and basil to the frying pan. Stir until well mixed. When sauce starts to boil, lower heat and let simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes.
  5. Add heavy cream to the sauce and stir. Cook an additional 2 minutes before enjoying.