Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Recipe - Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Earlier this week, I celebrated the 11 year anniversary of making pasta with roasted red pepper sauce for the Mrs. The initial batch was made on Valentines Day 2000 in a crappy house in Baltimore, and the recipe came from of all places, a Three Brothers cook book. I can’t remember what the inspiration to make this meal was, but I’m still amazed that I was able to prepare a romantic dinner (with home-made gnocchi) in a terrible group rental house. Either way, it became a tradition and a meal that I make a few times a year – and always on v-day and my wife’s b-day.

The recipe has been modified over the years and I think I’ve finally perfected it. The original version involved making an alfredo sauce and then adding pureed roasted red peppers. I’ve used store bought peppers and made my own. As much as I want to say that roasting my own made a difference, I doubt it ever did. Although it did take a lot longer. These days, I just use a jar of Trader Joe’s Roasted Piquillo Peppers.

Here’s the recipe.
  • 2 Tbsp of butter
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 12 oz. jar of roasted red peppers (drained and pureed)
  • 6 oz. grated Parmigiano-Reggiano – and no, you can’t cheap out and just use “parmesan cheese.” Use the real stuff!
  1. Drain the peppers and discard the seeds
  2. Puree the peppers - add some of the cream if you need extra liquid
  3. Make a basic roux with the butter and flour
  4. Add the cream to the roux
  5. Add the puree and then the grated cheese and simmer on medium
  6. Taste and season with salt and pepper
I like this with pappardelle or gnocchi. Fettuccine also works well.
Serve it with a simple green salad and some crusty bread. For wine, I like to serve it with Primitivo, Sangiovese, or Zinfandel. It also works well with a dry sparkling pink or even Prosecco.

For the dinner playlist, I recommend M. Ward, Iron & Wine, a little Nick Drake, etc.

Enjoy – and prepare to start making this again and again and again…

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