This is such a great change from your run-of-the-mill tomato sauce for pasta. The color and flavor of the sweet red peppers are definitely the star of this dish. We used a sweet, fruity, Italian pepper called Jimmy Nardello's, but I think regular red bell peppers would work just as well.
We love Italian sausage with red peppers, so we added some cooked bulk sausage to the sauce before pouring it over the pasta. It would be just as good without it though. Make the dish completely vegetarian by using vegetable stock instead of chicken.
Red Pepper Sauce
1 T olive oil
1 large onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 c)
2 large cloves garlic, chopped
9 - 10 oz sweet red peppers, seeded and chopped
1 1/2 c chicken stock
2 T tomato paste
2 t lemon juice
1/2 t dried basil
1/4 t dried oregano
2 - 3 pinches crushed red pepper flakes
1 1/2 t kosher salt
1/4 c half and half
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions, garlic and peppers. Sauté until everything is tender and the onions are just starting to brown, about 30 minutes.
Put the onions, peppers and garlic into a blender or food processor with 1/2 cup of the chicken stock. Purée until almost smooth. Return to the skillet.
Add the remaining chicken stock, tomato paste, lemon juice, basil, oregano, pepper flakes and salt. Let simmer for 30 minutes stirring from time to time.
Stir in half and half. Heat through.
Serve over warm pasta.
Makes 2 servings
Thoughts for making this again: Next time I might try roasting the peppers, onion & garlic in the oven before puréeing them to see if that give it even a deeper flavor.
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