recipe-ish: roasted red pepper tomato sauce

This was adapted from Epicurious. I got a large beautiful red pepper from the farmer's market with this recipe in mind.

The Good Journal: Red Pepper, Ready and Willing

Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Sauce
from Epicurious
of course, tailored to my insatiable love of mushrooms and onions

1 small head garlic (2 inches in diameter)
1/2 pound of tomatoes, halved lengthwise (one large red tomato sliced into four pieces was enough for me)
1 large red bell pepper (1/2 pound)
Handful of sliced mushrooms
Handful of sliced onions
Olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Black Pepper
Dried Basil
A small block of parmigiano-reggiano

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Prepare your garlic for roasting by cutting off the top and wrapping the head in foil.

The Good Journal: I Love Garlic

Line a large pan with foil and lay out the slices of tomato. Sprinkle them with kosher salt and drizzle with olive oil.

The Good Journal: And I Love Tomatoes

Add the bell pepper and the foiled garlic head to pan (I cover it with tin foil as well for reasons I'm not quite sure of now) and roast vegetables in the middle of oven for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and add the mushrooms and onions to the pan. Put back in the oven for an additional 30 minutes.

Remove the pepper and set aside. It will get lonely, but it needs to cool down for about 15 minutes.

The Good Journal: The Lonely Pepper

Once cooled but still warm to the touch, peel the pepper, tossing aside the stem and seeds, and put in a blender along with the tomatoes. Unwrap the garlic and squeeze the cloves from their skin into the blender. Add a teaspoon of olive oil, the lemon juice and balsamic vinegar. Puree until smooth.

The Good Journal: The Blender and the Sauce

Now, season to taste. Add salt, black pepper, dried basil and oregano and then blend. Keep testing until it tastes the way you like it.

Pour into a sauce pan and heat on medium low. Fold in the onions and mushrooms and simmer just enough to keep it warm.

The Good Journal: Simmering Sauce

Meanwhile, boil another pot of water and make pasta as directed. Add a tablespoon or so of the pasta water to your sauce. The starch in the water helps thicken the sauce. I'm sure I saw Chef Mario Batali do it once.

When pasta is al dente, drain the water and add to your serving bowl. Finely grate your block of parmigiano-reggiano on to the warm pasta (yet another trick that I saw the Everyday Italian lady Giada De Laurentiis do).

The Good Journal: Cheesy Pasta

A real chef would toss the pasta in the sauce, but I just folded it all together until it blended nicely. Maybe add a little cheese on top.

The Good Journal: Pasta in Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Sauce

See the original recipe here on Epicurious. This makes enough for four people to enjoy and is an excellent base recipe for lots of improvising.


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