While I tend not to look at her individual step pictures when reading a recipe blog post, I do enjoy the recipes themselves and the detail with which she documents them. A while back she did a sort of review post, where she combined and linked to several former posts on creamy pasta sauces. My interest was grabbed by the roasted red pepper sauce because I love, LOVE red bell peppers. I then ran across a very similar recipe by Rachael Ray, and decided to give this sauce a try.
It was great! When I make it again, I'll likely either add some sauteed chicken to the sauce to bring it to main course level or I'll serve it as a sort of side dish. It's a taste that is creamy but just so unexpected. I am accustomed to pasta sauces based on tomatoes, of which this sauce has none. For that reason it may not have widespread appeal, but I still enjoyed it and will likely make it again. As a side note, this sauce is best served with short pasta that hangs onto sauce well. I used campanelle; PW used orecchiette. Look these two up and you'll get the idea.
I'm posting the original recipe with my own photos and then suggestions below in the notes section. For very detailed photos and instructions, visit this post on PW's website.
Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Sauce
by Ree Drummond, aka Pioneer Woman
3 Red Bell Peppers
2 Tb. Pine nuts
½ onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
½ c. half and half
½ lb small pasta
Parmesan Cheese, shaved
Roast the bell peppers under a broiler or over a flame until the skins are charred. Place them into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and cool until you can easily handle the peppers. Peel off the skins, open the peppers, and remove the seeds and white parts. Rough chop the peppers and place them into a blender.
While the peppers are cooling, toast the pine nuts in a skillet over med-low heat or under a broiler, taking care that they only turn golden and don’t brown too much. Place them into the blender with the peppers.
Also while the peppers are cooling, sauté the onion and garlic in a saucepan with olive oil until soft and translucent. I recommend starting the onions first and throwing in the garlic near the end. Place those in the blender as well.
Start a pot of pasta water and begin to boil the pasta.
Blend the peppers, onion and garlic, and the pine nuts in a blender until smooth. Return to the saucepan and heat over medium. Add the half and half and stir until well blended and warmed through. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- If you don't want to take the time or the expense of roasting three fresh red peppers, you can buy jarred roasted red peppers and get a similar taste from draining and using them.
- Watch the pine nuts! I nearly burned mine and that doesn't make for good eats.
- I will probably not put parsley on mine again. I don't know if it was the soil in which my parsley was grown or what, but not awesome.