Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Red Bell Pepper and Tomato Sauce with Basil by Colleen

Hi Barb --

Alexandra's Kitchen recipe popped up in my inbox. She posted it by way of Tra Vigne cookbook. Looks good, easy and foolproof. I haven't made, but I assume that I might be able to manage such a thing. Feeling a little less confident after the bolognese episode. I finally hit that pot with a lot of truffle salt (for umami) and garlic from Penzey's. Then I froze it all and decided that in a month or two when life is crazy I will defrost and think it is really really good because it is here and I am starving. Perspective is everything.

---Colleen

Red Bell Pepper and Tomato Sauce with Basil

Inspired by a red pepper tomato sauce in The Tra Vigne Cookbook , the book that introduced me to summer squash spaghetti, another favorite recipe this time of year

2 red bell peppers (to yield about 2 cups chopped), stemmed and seeded
2 beefsteak tomatoes (to yield about 2 cups chopped)
water, about 1/2 cup
kosher salt
freshly cracked pepper
fresh basil leaves, (1/4 to 1/2 cup loosely packed)
1 to 2 tablespoons of butter, room temperature
1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil

1. Dice the peppers. Depending on the size, you will have about 2 cups. Place in a medium-sized saucepan or pot. Dice the tomatoes. Again, depending on the size you should have about 2 cups. Add to the pot. Pour in 1/2 cup water and turn heat to high. Season with salt and pepper to taste. I have been using about 1 teaspoon of kosher salt.

2. Bring to a simmer, then turn heat down to medium high. Set a timer for 25 minutes. After about five minutes, the tomatoes and peppers will begin to release their juices, and the whole mixture should be bubbling. Adjust the heat if necessary so that the mixture stays at a constant bubble ‹ medium to medium-high should do it. Stir every five minutes or so to make sure the tomatoes and peppers are not sticking to the bottom of the pan. If they are, add water by the quarter cup.

3. After about 25 minutes or more or less ‹ when the peppers and tomatoes are tender and nearly all of the liquid has evaporated ‹ add the basil to the pot, give it a stir, then transfer the contents of the pot to a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth. Add as much butter and olive oil as you like. I use 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Blend again until smooth. Taste. Adjust seasoning as necessary.

   ---Colleen

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